Supplied Editorial
Supplied Editorial

Justice for Dexter: One year on and still no answers

MORE than a year after Dexter Wilton's tiny body was found in his Ipswich home, relatives claim a pathologist report has still not been completed to determine how or why the boy died.

The nine-month-old died in suspicious circumstances at his family's Raceview home on June 21 after the Child Safety Department was told of concerns for his welfare.

Relatives claim Dexter was found severely underweight, dehydrated and with nappy rashes from the knees up that looked like "third degree burns" after multiple reports were made to the department.

In September last year - three months after Dexter's death - Queensland Police announced an investigation was underway at Yamanto police station headed by detectives from child protection and the state crime command child trauma unit.


Dexter Wilton was found dead in suspicious circumstances in June last year.
Dexter Wilton was found dead in suspicious circumstances in June last year.


Child Safety minister Di Farmer assured the community that the death of any child known to the child protection system would be reviewed by a "tier-tier process" to ensure it is investigated thoroughly.

But 12 months on, the community still has no answers.

Dexter's aunt Jodie Whitehead is struggling to understand why the investigation has stalled and why her nephew's death is still a mystery.

"Dexter deserves justice," Ms Whitehead said.

"We still don't have a cause of death and we need closure. To me, once someone is buried it should mean they've got all they need to do the testing.

"I just can't understand how the system works and how they can brush someone under the rug like they ever existed."


Relatives feel Ipswich baby Dexter Wilton has been forgotten.
Relatives feel Ipswich baby Dexter Wilton has been forgotten.


Another relative, who wished not to be named, said her "mind boggles" that they had already marked one year since Dexter's death.

"I don't even have words for it really," she said.

"It's just really sad that he has slipped through the cracks."

A spokesman for Queensland Police confirmed Dexter's death is still being treated as suspicious and is under active investigation.

"As this is an ongoing investigation, we are unable to comment further at this time," the spokesman said.

Ms Farmer did not answer renewed questions about what her department knew or if Dexter's case would be managed by the Queensland Child Death Review Board when it comes into effect on July 1.

But the Department said that the board would have "the capacity to look at retrospective cases".

"In cases where a child is known to the department, a systems and procedures investigation is undertaken," a spokesman for Child Safety said.

"(It) will now include agencies such as police, health and education if they have been involved in the child's welfare in the previous year."

Laws were passed in February to establish the board which will examine child death cases in Queensland.



Originally published as Justice for Dexter: One year since boy's death and still no answers