News

Mum thought he was at childcare but he was in her car, dead

News Corp Australia

ONE child sick with gastroenteritis, another teething  - restless all night in his mother's bed, a recent dog attack on a family pet and the back to school routine changed.

It was all these things in combination that led to a regional Victorian mother having 'forgotten baby syndrome' and the tragicdeath of her 22-month-old son, a court has heard.

Noah Zunde was found dead in a car outside a Kyneton childcare centre in February 2015. He was just 22-months-old, a much loved son and little brother, a "gorgeous little boy."

At the time Noah's father paid tribute to his son on Twitter writing, "We lost our beautiful son today."

"Hug your children. Hug them and never let them go."

"I love him more every day. Forever." he said, referring to his baby boy.

"I'll always know I cherished every day. Every laugh, every adventure, every cuddle. Miss you noey X."

His family had moved to the small town of Kyneton, north west of Melbourne hoping for a better life for their two kids.

Noah's big sister had recently started school and the family was adjusting to a change of routine.

The Victorian Coroners Court has heard that on the morning of February19th 2015 Ms Zunde believed she had dropped Noah at childcare, it wasn't until the afternoon when she returned to collect him she realised the devastating truth - he had been in the back seat the entire time.

The court heard evidence from a medical expert that in the weeks leading up to Noah's death Ms Zunde hadn't been able to sleep well as she had been sick, with suspected gastroenteritis, her daughter too had been ill, The Bendigo Advertiser reports.

On the night before he was left in the car little Noah had slept in his mother's bed, restless due to teething, Ms Zunde's partner, Andrew Krespanis told police she had virtually had no sleep at all.

Expert neuroscientist, associate professor Matthew Mundy said in the report that "Ms Zunde had suffered several days of acute sleep deprivation."

On the morning on February 19th Ms Zunde's routine was changed when she had to drop a misplaced travel card to Mr Krespanis at Kyneton train station.

Mr Krespanis said Ms Zunde was "considerably distressed" by the change of routine and the possibility that their daughter might be late to her primary school.

The report said that Ms Zunde then went straight to Tylden Primary School and dropped off her daughter, rather than taking her son to child care.

She then went home to do chores for the day.

Ms Zunde said the childcare centre is "very close to ours, a left turn directly opposite the right turn to our house. I can only assume I automatically made a right turn instead of left".

She told police that "Noah must have fallen asleep on the way which is something he hardly ever did."

Ms Zunde said she had been on "auto pilot", according to The Bendigo Advertiser.

Noah was found in the car outside his childcare. Source: Nine
Noah was found in the car outside his childcare. Source: Nine

There Noah stayed all day, while temperatures reached 31 degrees, only discovered when Ms Zunde went back to pick him up from childcare, to be told he'd never been dropped off.

In Mr Mundy's report he said that in the car Ms Zunde could not see Noah's baby seat, so she had no visual reminder her son was in the car.

"Without a visual cue to the presence of Noah, it is less likely that Romy Zunde would have been reminded of his presence after a failure in short-term memory of driving home instead of to Bambini daycare,"

"This seems important, since he would normally be making some kind of noise during the journey. Again, these observations would also suggest a lack of external 'cues' to prompt the maintenance of Romy's short-term memory".

​He said that "Ms Zunde had suffered several days of acute sleep deprivation. She was overwhelmed with confusion and thought about several alternatives where she could have left Noah."

The family had recently added a new day to Noah's childcare, and had been under stress after dogs attacked their pet pigs.

Professor Mundy said that Ms Zunde's habitual memory took over and led to an error.

"In my opinion, it is possible that due to the recently changed routine for the destination of a Thursday drive [which would otherwise have been to the family home], and the competing and confusing information from the other items held in long term memory [arrangements for Fridays, arrangements for previous weeks etc], there was a potential for error introduced into the day's travel."

Together all these changes, and the exhaustion Ms Zunde suffered led to "forgotten baby syndrome".

The inquest continues.

This article originally appeared on Kidspot and has been reproduced here with permission.

News Corp Australia

Topics:  death editors picks inquest parenting toddler


Stay Connected

Update your news preferences and get the latest news delivered to your inbox.

Fernvale's Rose among the flames

ALL-ACTION: Fernvale Rural Fire Brigade first officer Andrew Rose was named the Somerset Citizen of the Year for 2017.

Andrew Rose was named the Somerset's Citizen of the Year for 2017.

F/A-18F Hornets make a buzz above Gatton

Low flying F/A-18F Hornet aircraft will be taking part in Exercise Black Dagger from March 23-28 above Gatton.

The skies above Gatton are alive with the sound F/A-18F Hornets.

Sophomore year a success for Marburg's Meg Essex

STRETCH: Marburg basketballer Meg Essex fights for the ball in a game for Newberry College.

Meg Essex made big strides in her sophomore season.

Local Partners

Gatton students build blocks towards harmony

Our Lady of Good Counsel celebrated Harmony Day with an artistic twist.

CMC Rocks is just the ticket for Eric Paslay

HAPPY TO BE HERE: American country singer Eric Paslay will play CMC Rocks 2017.

Country music singer is touring overseas for the first time.

Daredevils of Nitro Circus to thrill Lismore

Oakes Oval in Lismore will host the sell-out, worldwide phenomenon that is Nitro Circus Live during its 15-city Australian tour in April.

The (in)famous 55-foot high Nitro Giganta ramp is the centrepiece

CHOOSING LIFE: Emu Park veteran leads way out of PTSD

WINNING THE FIGHT: Andrea Josephs with her daughter Kyla (10) at the Emu Park Anzac Memorial ahead of her official Matilda Poppy launch this weekend.

Andrea Josephs will officially launch Matilda Poppy in new hometown

Travis Collins, Keith Urban win big at CMC Music Awards

LEE Kernaghan was also inducted into the CMC Hall of Fame during tonight's glittering awards ceremony on the Gold Coast.

Morgan Evans opens up about his CMC love story

Morgan Evans hosts the 2017 CMC Music Awards, being held for the first time on the Gold Coast.

SINGER returns from Nashville to host tonight's CMC Music Awards.

What's on the big screen this week

OLD TALE: Emma Watson brings to life the character of Belle in Beauty and the Beast.

DISNEY'S remake of Beauty and the Beast opens to rave reviews.

MKR recap: Josh and Amy figure out how to get along

Josh and Amy have figured out how to get along and cook well. Stay away from each other.

THEY’RE the couple we love to hate, but something changed tonight.

Mariah’s making a movie we probably don’t need

Mariah Carey and her dog Jack are prepping for a Christmas movie.

Mariah Carey is making animated movie ready for Christmas.

CMC Rocks is just the ticket for Eric Paslay

HAPPY TO BE HERE: American country singer Eric Paslay will play CMC Rocks 2017.

Country music singer is touring overseas for the first time.

MOVIE REVIEW: Disney remake a beauty-ful story

Emma Watson and Dan Stevens star in the movie Beauty and the Beast.

Emma Watson stars as Belle in classic tale of finding unlikely love

GREEN LIGHT: Bunnings plans another warehouse in region

Bunnings has announced it will bring a warehouse to the Lockyer Valley.

Construction of a hardware superstore is in planning stages

'Dangerous precedent': Beachfront tree clearing rejected

WHAT A VIEW: A Google Earth aerial view of the strip of houses and sand dunes at Shelly Beach which could be set for changes.

BREAKING: Beachfront residents' bold bid to improve views fails

Couple ditch Springfield for $350 million rural lifestyle

Sales consultant Rachel Hargreaves (left) of Oliver Hume Waterlea at Wallon with new land owner Rebecca Mallett.

“To purchase a block the same size would be double the price here"

It's official: Byron Bay unaffordable

MILLIONAIRES ROW: The Housing Commission house in Keats St, Byron Bay which sold at auction on Saturday for $1.65 million.

Buying a home in Bay Bay is a dream too far for some

Coast home luring interstate buyers sold

PRIZED POSITION: Blue clip location, peaceful surroundings, spacious living with swimming pool, tennis court on 4562sq
m

The property was described as a 'Queenslander with Hamptons style'

Ready to SELL your property?

Post Your Ad Here!