Tragic discovery offers relief for family

THE devastated family of a Chinchilla toddler who was missing for more than four years, say "a huge weight" has been lifted now she has been found even though the ending was tragic.

Police discovered skeletal remains in the Western Downs town yesterday.

Police will allege that two-year-old Kaydence Dawita Mills was tortured and murdered at the hands of her own mother, Sinitta Tammy Dawita, 28; and her partner, Tane Saul Desatge, 40.

Kaydence had been missing since 2016, but detectives ramped up their investigation last year when her sister told a school counsellor about the disappearance.

Kaydence Dawita Mills has been missing since 2016. Skeletal remains were yesterday found in Chinchilla.
Kaydence Dawita Mills has been missing since 2016. Skeletal remains were yesterday found in Chinchilla.

Police declared part of the Chinchilla Weir a crime scene on Sunday. Hours later, police charged Dawita and Desatge.

A suitcase was also uncovered at the site on Tuesday and a funeral car was parked at the site for hours, as forensic officers placed evidence into bags.

The remains are expected to undergo further testing, but they are believed to belong to the child.

"Our next step now is to wait for the police to release Kaydence back to us so we bury her with the dignity and respect she so justly deserves," a relative told The Courier-Mail.

"A huge weight has been lifted in knowing that she has been found even if the ending was tragic.

"We no longer have to torment ourselves with 'where is she, where is Kaydence', because we know now where she is."

The family also thanked Detective Sergeant Craig Ellis and the Dalby Child Protection and Investigation Unit for "the endless hours they have put into finding Kaydence", as well as the public.

Excavation work at Chinchilla weir on Tuesday.
Excavation work at Chinchilla weir on Tuesday.

"The flowers and toys left in remembrance at the weir are just beautiful," the relative said.

"We cannot say thank you enough."

Dawita and Desatge were remanded in custody after being charged for the alleged murder and torture of Kaydence.

It's understood Desatge is not Kaydence's father, but was in a relationship with Dawita at the time of the alleged offences.

Investigations into Kaydence's whereabouts began late last year, when her 12-year-old sister spoke told a school counsellor in Mackay in September.

The school raised concerns with authorities and the police were called.

In December, the backyard of a Chinchilla home was searched and excavated by detectives and forensic officers, however Kaydence was not located.