Parents' pain: Why did babysitter kill our little boy?
A BABYSITTER is behind bars after pleading guilty to killing a toddler from Moranbah, but the circumstances surrounding Hemi Burke's death remain a mystery more than two years on.
Hemi's babysitter, Matthew James Ireland, has admitted to killing the 18-month-old, but the little boy's parents may never know what led to his death.
The burning question wears on Shane Burke and Kerri-Ann Goodwin day in and day out: Why did their formerly trusted friend kill their son?
The couple is still trying to obtain an autopsy report, which they hope will provide more information, about a year after first asking for the document.
Hemi, affectionately nicknamed 'H-bomb' by his doting family, suffered multiple injuries while in the care of Ireland on March 26, 2015.
Rushed to hospital with ruptured internal organs and dozens of bruises, Hemi's official cause of death was blunt force trauma causing brain injury, Hemi's parents said.
Ireland was initially charged with murder, but that was later downgraded to manslaughter - against Mr Burke's and Ms Goodwin's wishes.
Ireland pleaded guilty to the lesser charge and therefore did not go to trial. He is due to be sentenced in the Supreme Court in Mackay on June 5.
Mr Burke and Ms Goodwin aren't optimistic, but they hope Ireland will detail how and why Hemi's injuries were inflicted during sentencing.
However, they remain angry and exasperated that they have not already been provided details via the autopsy report into their son's death.
Feeling shunned and disconnected from much of the legal process since Hemi's passing, it's another blow for the shattered couple.
"Over a year ago we were told during the court process all we had to do was write to the coroner and we'd get it (the autopsy report), fill out the paperwork and send it back, which we did," Mr Burke said.
"We did that and received back a cause of death. But that's all they sent us. Not the autopsy.
"And now we're supposed to write victim impact statements, but we only really know what we've been told second-hand.
"We don't even know what Ireland has admitted to doing. How did he kill Hemi? We want to read what Ireland said has happened.
"We're in the dark and every little thing has been made so hard.
"The whole court process really needs to be streamlined and made clear to families of victims. What you can do, what you can't do, what you're entitled to. We've had no idea."
Ms Goodwin said it had been indicated to her that the family could receive the report after Ireland's sentencing.
But in response to queries by the Daily Mercury, a spokesman for the Coroners Court of Queensland made no guarantees.
"The family of Hemi Burke were advised of the cause of death by letter dated December 7, 2015," he said.
"The family were advised on February 25, 2016 that the coroner would consider their request for a copy of the autopsy report once the criminal proceedings have been completed."
Ms Goodwin said providing a cause of death was simply not enough information for her or her partner in their hunt for answers.
"I've stated to everyone 'this is our son'. You know we can hear it (the autopsy details) from the police, we can hear it from the Crown verbally, but we'd like to see it in black and white," she said.
The couple said they would keep fighting for more information.