Heartbreaking reason for police backyard dig
RELATIVES of a Chinchilla woman whose back yard was dug up as part of a child protection investigation say they haven't seen her "beautiful" little girl Kaydence for over two years.
The Courier-Mail can reveal that the excavation of the back yard in the western Darling Downs town relates to the alleged disappearance of Kaydence Dawita Mills, who would now be five.
Investigations into Kaydence's whereabouts began late last year, when family members spoke to a guidance counsellor at the local school.
The school raised concerns with authorities and the police were called.
Two relatives of Kaydence's mother, Sinitta Dawita, 28, said they were desperate for information on the little girl's whereabouts.
"None of the family has seen her for a couple of years," said one woman, who asked not to be named.
"We need to get it out there.
"There's a little girl and she's missing and we don't know what's happened to her.
"It needs to be brought out of the dark because it's been hidden in the dark for too long."
The relatives said Kaydence, the middle sibling of five children, was raised by another family at Innisfail in far north Queensland for the first two years of her life.
She was returned to her mother, who was then living in nearby Tully, about 2016.
Soon after Ms Dawita moved with her children to Chinchilla.
Family members saw her in Tully that year for the funeral of a relative, and asked after Kaydence.
A relative told The Courier-Mail they were told she was in the care of a friend.
"At this moment, I don't think we really know what to think," the woman said.
"We don't have anything to go on. We're doing our best to remain positive."
The rear yard of the Chinchilla home was searched and excavated a month ago by detectives and forensic officers, however Kaydence was not located.
A cadaver dog was also used in the search.
Police at the time would not say what they were looking for, and would only confirm the search involved an ongoing child protection matter.
"Investigators are searching the property and speaking to a number of persons who may be able to assist with the investigation," a police spokesman said.
Officers from the State Crime Command were involved in the Chinchilla investigation.
Family members have been sharing Kaydence's photograph online, hoping that someone might have information on her last whereabouts.
They have spoken to Ms Dawita, who has provided them with explanations as to who is caring for her daughter.
"No family member has seen her since about 2016 or 2017, and we're all concerned for where this little girl is," a relative said.
"If they know of anything, (we'd ask them) to ring Crime Stoppers straight away or go to their local police station.
"We just want to get out to the public that if they've seen anything, or anyone that lives in Chinchilla who might know something, to come forward."
They described Kaydence as a beautiful little girl who walked with a limp.
The Courier-Mail spoke to Ms Dawita after police scoured the Chinchilla home but she claimed she did not live at the property.
Subsequent attempts to contact Ms Dawita were unsuccessful.
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