Mother charged with murder after death of two-month-old baby during lockdown

·2 min read
Essex Police charged Ellodie Goncalves, 31, with murder and child neglect on Tuesday - Tomasz Zolnierek / Alamy Stock Photo
Essex Police charged Ellodie Goncalves, 31, with murder and child neglect on Tuesday - Tomasz Zolnierek / Alamy Stock Photo

Essex social services have launched a review after a mother was charged with murder following the death of a two-month-old boy during lockdown.

Police and paramedics were called to a block of flats in Harlow, Essex, following reports that Malik Olayia had fallen ill.

He was found unconscious and not breathing on the morning of August 19 2020, and was declared dead hours later after being rushed to the Princess Alexandra Hospital.

A murder inquiry was launched in the wake of Malik's death and on Tuesday Essex Police charged his mother, Ellodie Goncalves, 31, with murder and child neglect.

Meanwhile, his father, Muritala Olaiya-Imam, 36, has also been charged with causing or allowing the death of a child as well as child neglect.

The pair appeared at Colchester Magistrates Court today for a short hearing and were remanded in custody to appear at Chelmsford Crown Court tomorrow.

Following the magistrates’ hearing, it emerged that social services were in contact with the family and that authorities are now conducting a review of the case.

An Essex County Council spokesperson said: “This was a terrible tragedy and Malik is in our thoughts.

“Essex Children’s Social Care team were aware of this family and are now undertaking a multi-agency safeguarding review.”

Child had head injuries

A post-mortem examination was carried out at Great Ormond Street Hospital on August 25 and Malik’s provisional cause of death was given as "head injuries, pending further investigation."

Coroner's officer, Andre Kimshe, told an inquest opening: "On August 19, baby Malik was found at home unconscious and not breathing.

"Paramedics attended and he was conveyed to Harlow hospital where his death was confirmed at 9.53am."

At the time of the incident, several police and ambulance vehicles were seen parked up in front of the high-rise flats in the housing estate. An air ambulance was also seen landing nearby in a field off Rye Hill Road.

Our goal is to create a safe and engaging place for users to connect over interests and passions. In order to improve our community experience, we are temporarily suspending article commenting