Caught on CCTV: Last moments of girl, 3, who died from mysterious head injury as police launch fresh appeal for details
Mariam Alam, of Coventry, was seen on CCTV at a Lidl store last NovemberPolice issue fresh appeal to public one year after she died of head traumaOfficers still trying to determine how or where little girl suffered fatal injury
Detective Inspector Chris Hanson: 'We haven’t forgotten about Mariam'
10:40 GMT, 6 December 2012
These CCTV images show the last healthy moments of a three-year-old girl skipping through a supermarket door to buy sweets, before she later died from a mysterious head injury.
Mariam Alam, of Coventry, West Midlands, was on the brink of death less than 20 minutes after this footage was taken – and police have issued a fresh appeal for information one year after her death.
The little girl was taken to hospital by relatives after suffering the head injury and died despite the efforts of paramedics – but detectives are still not certain how or where she suffered the injury.
Scroll down to see the CCTV and appeal…
Last moments: Mariam Alam, of Coventry, West Midlands, was on the brink of death less than 20 minutes after the footage was taken – and police have issued a fresh appeal for information one year after her death
Supermarket entry: The West Midlands Police CCTV footage shows Mariam wearing a red flowery dress, white tights and a pink coat walking with her mother at a Lidl store in the Foleshill area of the city last November
‘We haven’t forgotten about Mariam,’ Detective Inspector Chris Hanson of Coventry Police said. ‘We’re still very interested in what happened to her. I’m determined to get to the bottom of it.’
The West Midlands Police CCTV footage shows Mariam wearing a red flowery dress, white tights and a pink coat walking with her mother at a Lidl store in the Foleshill area of the city last November.
Since her death, detectives have faced a wall of silence from some people while others have given wildly different accounts of how she was hurt, but they are appealing again to the local community.
Det Insp Hanson, from the public protection unit, said: ‘Mariam was very poorly when she arrived at hospital and died a short time later. At that stage paramedics didn’t know why she had collapsed.
‘There was no obvious trauma or injuries. At first it was treated as an unexpected death.
‘We were unsure what had caused her to collapse, sometimes children can suddenly and unexpectedly become ill due to an infection or an underlying undiagnosed medical condition.’
Walking out: Since her death, detectives have faced a wall of silence from some people while others have given wildly different accounts of how she was hurt, but they are appealing again to the local community
Leaving: Twelve months later police still have more questions than answers about how the tragic toddler died
But the police probe took a turn when the post mortem exam – carried out as routine when a small child dies unexpectedly – found out that Mariam died as a result of a significant head injury.
The impact of the injury was so severe
pathologists likened it to a hard fall from height or a heavy blow to
the head. Police then launched an investigation into Mariam’s death.
'We haven’t forgotten about Mariam. We’re still very interested in what happened to her. I’m determined to get to the bottom of it'
Det Insp Chris Hanson, Coventry Police
But 12 months later they have more questions than answers about how the tragic toddler died. When witnesses were interviewed they offered differing accounts of the day she passed away.
Early investigations cast doubt on some versions of events and to this day officers cannot even be certain where Mariam suffered the fatal injury.
Det Insp Hanson said: ‘Less than 20 minutes after this CCTV image was taken in the nearby Lidl supermarket Mariam was on the brink of death.
‘We have built a picture of what was going on at the time but we’re still not sure where she was, whether she was deliberately hit or whether she had a fall.’
Still looking: Detective Inspector Chris Hanson of Coventry Police's public protection unit said the force 'hasn't forgotten about Mariam' and he is 'determined to get to the bottom' of what happened
Location: Three-year-old Mariam Alam died in hospital in November 2011 after an ambulance was called to a house on this road in the Foleshill area of Coventry
He added that investigators believe people in the community know how she died but are reluctant to come forwards. ‘Very early on in the investigation we had an anonymous call,’ the officer said.
‘That person helped to point us in the right direction. We believe there is someone in the community who is desperate to tell us what happened to Mariam. They may be able to tell us a little bit more.
'We were unsure what had caused her to collapse. Sometimes children can suddenly and unexpectedly become ill due to an infection or an underlying undiagnosed medical condition'
Det Insp Chris Hanson, Coventry Police
‘We would appeal for that person to get back in touch.’
Police will today recreate Mariam’s last journey – made on November 30 last year at around 1pm.
They will visit the mosque near her home on Fisher Road in Foleshill and leaflet the area in an effort to jog people’s memories.
A 35-year-old man and two women, aged 32 and 25, were arrested in March and later bailed but to date no-one has been charged over the death.
Anyone with details about the death of three-year-old Mariam Alam should call Coventry Police’s public protection unit on 101 or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111VIDEO: CCTV shows toddler minutes before her death
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