Twist in ‘drowning’ death of Tarrin-Macen O’Sullivan, 4, after autopsy comes back with ‘inconsistencies’

Alex DruceNCA NewsWire
Not Supplied
Camera IconNot Supplied Credit: News Regional Media

Homicide detectives are investigating whether a four-year-old boy found unresponsive in a Queensland pool was already dead before his body entered the water.

Tarrin-Macen O’Sullivan’s death at Munbura on August 29 was initially reported to police as a drowning, but scientific examinations have left open the possibility the boy died before he was found facedown in the water.

Police on Wednesday said the death of Tarrin-Macen, who lived at the home south of Mackay with his mother, was now under investigation.

Mackay detectives are now investigating Tarrin-Macen Kenneth O‘Sullivan’s death. Contributed
Camera IconMackay detectives are now investigating Tarrin-Macen Kenneth O‘Sullivan’s death. Contributed Credit: News Regional Media

“Originally, the matter was reported to police as a suspected drowning in a pool at the home of the child,” Detective Inspector Tom Armitt told media.

“However, post-mortem and scientific examinations have concluded that that cause of death was inconsistent with drowning and, as such, police have commenced a homicide investigation.

“The circumstances surrounding how and why that child was located in the pool remain unknown.”

Tarrin-Macen O’Sullivan’s death on August 29 was initially reported to police as a suspected drowning. Bev Lacey/The Chronicle
Camera IconTarrin-Macen O’Sullivan’s death on August 29 was initially reported to police as a suspected drowning. Bev Lacey/The Chronicle Credit: News Regional Media

Police said Tarrin-Macen’s mother originally reported his drowning at 5pm on August 29.

Paramedics arrived and performed urgent CPR on the child, but he was later pronounced dead at Mackay Base Hospital.

Mackay detectives are now looking closely at the case with the child protection investigation unit and the state child trauma unit.

Inspector Armitt said the family had been helping police with inquiries, while officers had also been speaking to a number of people nearby.

Nobody has been arrested or charged.

Tarrin-Macen O'Sullivan died in Mackay Base Hospital. Contributed
Camera IconTarrin-Macen O'Sullivan died in Mackay Base Hospital. Contributed Credit: News Regional Media

“We’re dealing with the death of a four-year-old boy and obviously a small child relies heavily on the care of other people,” Inspector Armitt said.

“His death is treated with the utmost seriousness of any other homicide that we would be conducting.”

Tarrin-Macen’s father Andrew O’Sullivan, who lives in Mackay, told the Courier Mail in August that his boy was full of energy and loved technology, television, and phones.

Mr O’Sullivan also told media that his son was level 1 autistic and the family had moved to Queensland from NSW to access a better network of support.

A GoFundMe fundraiser was set up on behalf of Tarrin-Macen’s family the day after his death. It raised $1830 to help the family cover expenses.

Mackay Detective Inspector Tom Armitt said the family had been helping police with inquiries. Supplied
Camera IconMackay Detective Inspector Tom Armitt said the family had been helping police with inquiries. Supplied Credit: News Regional Media

“Everyone who met Tarrin instantly fell in love with him and his fond love for stopwatch (sic),” the description on the fundraiser reads.

“Whether it was his cheeky smile and cute giggle, or his amazing ability to grab your phone and within 30 seconds managed to change the language to Chinese, set 16 alarms and adjust the font settings so you needed binoculars to read your phone … He touched so many of our lives and we just weren‘t ready to see him leave this earth yet.”

The money is expected to be used for a wake after the boy’s funeral and to create a plaque.

Meanwhile, police are calling for information from the public, including anyone who was in the area at the time who may have driven past the address, may have noticed something that may have been untoward or suspicious or any movements.

Originally published as Twist in ‘drowning’ death of Tarrin-Macen O’Sullivan, 4, after autopsy comes back with ‘inconsistencies’

Get the latest news from thewest.com.au in your inbox.

Sign up for our emails