Wide artwork for story about little girl found in dam
Wide artwork for story about little girl found in dam

Mum's heartbreak for little girl 'loved beyond measure'

THE grief-stricken mother of a little girl who tragically died at her family's Sunshine Coast property overnight has paid a heartfelt tribute to her little fighter.

"Our little girl was incredibly strong and determined. From the day Elenore came into the world early and born with a defective heart she fought to survive. And she did," her mum Rowena said this morning.

"Elenore was growing up a true little kid. She loved playing in the puddles, making a muddy mess and laughing. So many memories of her and thanks to technology - so many videos of her simply being a little kid."

The three-year-old loved spending afternoons sitting on her grandfather's knee watching movies of their favourite actor Steven Seagal.

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"There was nothing better than sitting on poppy's knee watching Steven Seagal movies and having cuddles. She would sit there happily snuggled in and loved," Ms Lindsay said.

Elenore's godmother Tina Day said while Elenore didn't have any siblings, she was surrounded by so much love.

"Elenore would follow her mum around trying to help as all little kids do. They were a duo. She was loved beyond measure," Ms Day said.

Elenore went missing from her family's Cootharaba property yesterday afternoon, prompting a massive search involving police, SES and volunteers from the surrounding area.

Her body was pulled from a dam only 150m from her bedroom about midnight.

Earlier, Elenore's aunt Penny Lindsay said the family was in shock, with her grandfather collapsing last night and Elenore's mother grieving.

Ms Lindsay paid tribute to Elenore at the front of the family property, just metres away from where she drowned.

"She was full of life," she said. "She was a happy kid."

Ms Lindsay opened up about Elenore's mother Rowena's battles, having five miscarriages before giving birth to Elenore seven weeks premature.

"In the life she had, she had a rough start but at the end of it she was just a happy and healthy kid," she said.

Ms Lindsay said yesterday had started put like any other, before Elenore disappeared while her mother momentarily went into the bathroom.

"She was watching TV," Ms Lindsay said of Elenore's last time being seen by her mother.

"It happened so fast, it was all in a matter of minutes," she said.

The family are now planning to fill in the dam where she was found last night.

Elenore's aunt said the family had lived on the property for 50 years, and that a long-time neighbour had been the last to see the three-year-old alive.

Ms Lindsay said he saw her walking across the grass near home, but said she had been walking back toward the house.

"He didn't think much because she was on her property," she said.

"He thought she was coming home, and yeah, unfortunately something obviously attracted her to the dam, so that's where she ended up."

Flowers placed at the Cootharaba property where Elenore Lindsay died. Picture: Lachie Millard
Flowers placed at the Cootharaba property where Elenore Lindsay died. Picture: Lachie Millard

Ms Lindsay said the dam was about 3m-deep where Elenore's body was found.

She also thanked the community for the support, both in helping search for Elenore and also for the flood of messages she'd received since.

Neighbour Brett Freestone, who last night assisted in the search for Elenore said the situation was saddening, but the community's response was heartwarming.

"At one stage, they had my dam all lit up. They were going to get the divers into my dam. I felt sick," he said.

Mr Freestone said the search encompassed part of his property, and that a local man who had been working on his property had seen Elenore walking around near the dam.

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