The two-year-old girl who was allegedly murdered and found in a village pond was last night described as a “gorgeous, beautiful little girl”.
Neighbors of the youngster – named locally as Annabelle Mackey – paid tribute to the blonde-haired toddler who they said enjoyed walking around the Common.
Annabelle lived with her parents in a £600,000 house on a remote road in the village of Kingsley, Hampshire. She was found in a pond a few meters from their residence.
A woman in her 40s was arrested on suspicion of murder after the toddler’s death, but has since been released, police said.
Locals, who are “deeply shocked” by her death, say the “sweet” little girl was “very quiet and shy” and “didn’t really talk”. One added that “she sometimes gave us little smiles.”
Cards and floral tributes, including one that read ‘Sleep well, little one’, were placed near the waterside pond after the tragedy devastated the village.
The two-year-old girl believed to have been murdered and found in a village pond has been identified locally as Annabelle Mackey. She is pictured with her parents Alice and Peter Mackey
Locals, who are “deeply shocked” by her death, say the “sweet” little girl was “very quiet and shy” and “didn’t really talk”. Floral tributes to a two-year-old girl saying ‘sleep tight, little one’ were laid at the scene today
A woman in her 40s arrested on suspicion of murder and has since been released.
The little girl was found unresponsive at Kingsley Pond a short time later and taken to hospital, where she died on Monday.
Officers appeal for information following death of child found unconscious at Kingsley Pond
Residents said today they heard the adult shouting “help me, help me” near the pond, then saw an injured man being carried into an ambulance covered in blankets.
A woman also said: “Then there were a dozen police cars in the pond parking lot, it was crowded.
“I saw them bring out a cart with someone covered in blankets, but I couldn’t make out who it was or how old they were.”
Another father added his tribute to the deceased youngster. He said: “She was beautiful, she was a beautiful little girl.”
He added that she loved looking at their family’s Halloween decorations.
“We met her, we always said hello to her, she would say hello to us,” he remembers. “At Halloween we get a lot of decorations around the house for our little one and Annabelle would come and look at the decorations.”
Charmayne Dennard, a promoter, went to the pond with friends to leave flowers. They threw sunflowers into the pond as a tribute.
Miss Dennard, a 28-year-old mother of two from nearby Bordon, said: “It’s so heartbreaking, I had to come and pay my respects.
“That poor, poor little girl. You can’t imagine the pain his family must be feeling.
“The unknown is so scary, it’s scary to think about what happened.”
Hampshire Police said following the tragedy a woman was arrested under the Mental Health Act.
Although she was released, she remains under investigation.
Police arrive at Kingsley Pond after woman arrested on suspicion of murder following death of two-year-old girl on Monday
Police were called on Sunday, September 10 at 5:02 p.m. to reports of a two-year-old girl missing from her home.
Another lone bouquet of flowers was placed on a bench near where the toddler was.
The toddler was found at Kingsley Pond (pictured) on Sunday evening and was rushed to hospital in a serious condition.
Officers were called to the little girl’s family home on Forge Road, Kingsley, near Bordon, Hampshire, at 5.02pm on Sunday, following reports the girl was missing.
She was found unresponsive at Kingsley Pond a short time later and taken to hospital, where she died on Monday.
Police have taken the suspect into custody for questioning and specialist officers are supporting the girl’s family.
The investigation continues and police are requesting further information.
Witnesses recalled returning home to find “the whole lake” cordoned off and dozens of police and “what looked like armed police” invading the area.
“What was strange was the way they protected the place, as if maybe there was something suspicious,” one local told the Telegraph.
Another said investigators were going “house to house” and asking if they “saw or heard anything.”
The witness added: “There are houses backing onto the pond and the town but the ground is thick and it would be difficult for a young child to go that far.”
Speaking today, a married father, who lives on the same road as the Mackey family, said he was first alerted to the incident when patrol cars arrived.
“Within 20 minutes of the first car arriving, this place was flooded with vans and police,” he recalls. “This place was crowded.
“The whole place was cordoned off and then basically, the CID asked us if we had images on our camera, which we do… There’s nothing, we can’t see the little one, the family , nothing. We were quite worried at the same time, we have a six year old daughter.
A woman in her 40s has been arrested on suspicion of murder. She has since been released under investigation, Hampshire Police said.
The pond is a few hundred yards from Forge Road, where the girl was reported missing.
“A two-year-old child lost her life, it’s absolutely terrible. We met her, we always said “Hello” to her and she would say “Hello” to us. On Halloween, Annabel came to see the decorations.
“This shocked us deeply. When Annabel passed by, our daughter would come out and talk to her.
“She was beautiful, she was a beautiful little girl.”
The cordon around the pond was lifted today and police were seen patrolling the water.
The area is popular for fishing and dog walkers, with many parents and children also walking in the surrounding area.
The Reverend Matt Boyes, vicar of All Saints Church, offered his condolences on behalf of the parish community. He said: “It’s every parent’s nightmare that this is happening and the impact on the wider community will be huge too.”
A Hampshire Police spokesperson said on Tuesday evening: “Officers are appealing for information following the death of a child who was found unconscious at Kingsley Pond.
“Police were called on Sunday, September 10 at 5:02 p.m. following a report of a two-year-old girl who had gone missing from her home.
“She was found a short time later at Kingsley Pond.
“She was taken to hospital in a serious condition but sadly died on Monday afternoon. Her family are being supported by officers.