Woman, 30s, arrested in connection with murder of toddler Santina Cawley in Cork
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Woman, 30s, arrested in connection with murder of toddler Santina Cawley in Cork

A WOMAN has been arrested in connection with the murder of toddler Santina Cawley in Cork city.

The two-year-old girl died on Friday morning after being found with severe injuries at the Elderwood apartment complex on the Boreenmanna Road.

Gardaí later upgraded their investigation to a murder probe following a post-mortem examination of Santina's body by Deputy State Pathologist Dr Margot Bolster.

Officers arrested a female in her 30s this morning in connection with the toddler's death.

She is currently being held for questioning at Gurranabraher Garda Station under the provisions of Section 4 of the Criminal Justice Act, 1984.

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Tributes

Taking to social media at the weekend, a heartbroken family member told of how Santina's father Mike raised the alarm at around 4.50am on Friday, screaming: "My baby girl is dead".

The relative wrote: "Rip beautiful angel. Cruel world. Live life to the full and have no regrets".

Another family member posted that there was a "bed in heaven for our little doll", while a third added: "RIP you little angel, a cruel world."

Santina passed away at Cork University Hospital (CUH) at around 9.20am that morning despite the efforts of doctors to save her.

Although the results of her post-mortem are not being released for "operational reasons", the toddler reportedly suffered bone fractures, cuts and head injuries while a large amount of blood was present at the scene.

According to Cork Beo, Santina had been staying with a woman who is not her mother when the incident occurred.

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Funeral arrangements are yet to be announced for the toddler, who is survived by her parents Mike and Bridget and four siblings.

The body of the deceased is expected to be released to the family on Wednesday.

Gardaí are appealing to anyone who was in the Elderwood apartment complex between 4pm on Thursday, July 4 and 6am on Friday, July 5 who has not already spoken to detectives to come forward.

Anyone with information can contact Anglesea Street Garda Station on 021 452 2000 or the Garda Confidential Line on 1800 666 111.