Juan Ignacio Blanco  


  MALE murderers

index by country

index by name   A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z

  FEMALE murderers

index by country

index by name   A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z




Murderpedia has thousands of hours of work behind it. To keep creating new content, we kindly appreciate any donation you can give to help the Murderpedia project stay alive. We have many
plans and enthusiasm to keep expanding and making Murderpedia a better site, but we really
need your help for this. Thank you very much in advance.









Classification: Murderer
Characteristics: Revenge against her ex-wife during a custody battle
Number of victims: 1
Date of murder: January 29, 2009
Date of arrest: Same day
Date of birth: 1972
Victim profile: Darcey Freeman, 4 (her daughter)
Method of murder: By throwing her off bridge
Location: Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
Status: Sentenced to life imprisonment with a non-parole period of 32 years on April 11, 2011

photo gallery


Freeman gets life, 32 years non-parole

Arthur Freeman has been sentenced to life with 32 years non parole for throwing his daughter off a bridge

April 11, 2011

THE man who threw his daughter off the West Gate Bridge has been sentenced to life in prison.

Supreme Court Justice Paul Coghlan today sentenced Arthur Phillip Freeman, 37, to life in jail with a non-parole period of 32 years for the murder of four-year-old daughter Darcey as he sought revenge against her mother during a custody battle.

Darcey died hours after being thrown 80m from the bridge by her father on January 29, 2009.

Freeman was found guilty of murdering Darcey by a Supreme Court jury last month.

Today, Freeman showed no reaction throughout the hearing, but had to be pulled from the courtroom by three guards following a bizarre outburst after the sentence was handed down.

Freeman backed into a corner of the dock to avoid guards as he accused an in-law of being implicated in the theft of diamonds from a West Australian mine and Federal Police phone taps, while he also mentioned death threats to himself during the rant.

During a 40-minute statement that had finished moments earlier, Justice Coghlan said Freeman had not shown remorse or even begun to understand the enormity of his brutal crime.

“You are yet to say sorry for what you have done,” he said.

“Your attitude to these matters remain self-centred. I regard your prospects of rehabilitation as bleak.”

Prosecutors had called for Freeman to be jailed for life without parole, while his lawyers had pleaded for a minimum term.

In handing down the life sentence, the judge said he understood the argument that he should be “locked away for ever”, but he was obliged to consider other factors.

“Whatever happens, you will spend what many consider will be the best years of your life in prison,” he said.

But he said he did not think Freeman was “beyond redemption” and took into account good behaviour, family support and references.

The judge also said, “One of the unfortunate features of this case is that others blame themselves”, but the judge said they should not.

“You are responsible for it. And nobody else,” Justice Coghlan said.

“The earliest date you can be released is 29 January 2041, when you will be 67 years old,” the judge said.

Darcey’s mother and Freeman’s ex-wife Peta Barnes showed no emotion at the sentencing, and left the court with supporters without making a statement.

Several members of the jury that convicted Freeman were also in court to hear the verdict.

Darcey’s death a fundamental breach of trust

Justice Coghlan, in handing down his sentence, said Freeman’s actions were aggravated by an act breaching the basic trust of father and child, and had destroyed the lives of others.

“This was a killing of an innocent child,” he said.

“The circumstances of the killing were horrible.

“The throwing of your four-year-old daughter from a bridge more than 80 metres above the ground could not be more horrible.

“What Darcey’s last thoughts might have been does not bear thinking about, and her death must have been a painful and protracted one.”

He said Freeman’s actions were “a fundamental breach of trust” and an attack on the institution of family.

He said the death was made worse because Freeman had killed Darcey in the presence of his two young sons, Ben, 6, and Jack, 2.

“It can only be concluded that you used your daughter in an attempt to hurt your former wife as profoundly as possible.”

And he said Freeman could not have chosen a more public place for the murder act, saying it had offended the sensibility of the entire community.

He said the lives of Darcey’s mother and many others would “never be the same”.

In describing the impact on others, Justice Coghlan said emergency services, witnesses and the community as a whole had been affected by Darcey’s death, by having the events “forced upon them”.

Freeman was not mentally ill

Justice Coghlan said Freeman’s defence largely attempted to push for a non-parole period based on “impaired mental function” which would have reduced his moral culpability.

But quoting Dr Lester Walton’s expert advice, the judge said, “there is minimal evidence … that Freeman was suffering from mental illness that he would have realised his conduct was wrong”.

And while no-one knew what Freeman was thinking at the time he threw Darcey from the bridge, Dr Walton said in evidence: “I believe it is highly likely that Freeman may be have suffering clinical depression at the time of the offence”.

Dr Walton also believed Freeman may need close supervision because he was a suicide risk.

Justice Coghlan accepted that the sentence would “weigh more heavily” on Freeman partly as a result of his depression, but also the nature of Darcey’s death.

Judge describes moments before and after Darcey’s death

According to the judge, Freeman had driven to his parents’ house in the seaside hamlet of Aireys Inlet where his three children had been staying.

The next morning, Freeman’s father Peter noticed his son was distressed and appeared to be in a “trance”.

The day before he killed Darcey, Freeman had the amount of custody time he had with his children reduced by a court.

Justice Coghlan said Freeman’s act appeared to have been triggered by his reaction to custody orders, and a desire to seek “spousal revenge”.

While heading back to Melbourne, he had a lengthy phone conversation with friend Elizabeth Lamb who was in England at the time, telling her that he felt he had “lost” his children.

Minutes before the murder, Freeman telephoned Ms Barnes and told her to “Say goodbye to your children”.

He parked his four-wheel drive in the left-hand emergency lane, near the West Gate Bridge’s highest point, coaxed Darcey out of he car and picked her up.

Freeman then carried the child in his arms to the edge of the bridge and threw her over the edge.

As Freeman drove away from the bridge after murdering Darcey, his six-year-old son Ben urged him to turn back.

“Darcey can’t swim,” Ben told his father.

Freeman drove to the Commonwealth Law Courts complex in the CBD and tried to hand his two-year-old son Jack to security staff.

Freeman then became distressed and started crying and shaking.

He was later arrested at the complex.


Sentenced to life, bridge killer lets fly with bizarre courtroom rant

By Thomas Hunter -

April 11, 2011

A Melbourne father who murdered his daughter by throwing her off the West Gate Bridge had to be forcibly removed from the dock following a bizarre courtroom outburst just moments after being handed a life sentence.

Arthur Phillip Freeman, who tossed four-year-old Darcey Freeman 58 metres to her death two years ago, will not be eligible for release until January 29, 2041 after Victorian Supreme Court Justice Paul Coghlan set a non-parole period of 32 years.

Freeman was last month found guilty by a jury.

He had stood motionless as he was being sentenced while his former wife Peta Barnes also showed no emotion.

Later, Freeman, 37, began ranting about a Barnes family member’s involvement in the Argyle diamond mine in Western Australia and had to be pulled from the dock by three security staff.

In handing down his sentence, Justice Coghlan said he had no doubt Freeman's behaviour at a family court hearing - when he broke down and sobbed - "was a result of your realising the enormity and awfulness of what you have done".

"[Darcey's] last thoughts bear not thinking about. Her death must have been painful," he said.

"[The] killing [was done] in the presence of your sons Ben, who was six, and son Jack, who was two at the time. The community hopes he will be too young to remember.

"You used your daughter to hurt your former wife as profoundly as possible. You chose a place remarkably public and would have the most dramatic impact."

Justice Coghlan said he was not satisfied Freeman's behaviour showed remorse, that he was self-centred and was "yet to say sorry for what you had done".

He said he was satisfied Freeman continued to lack insight into what he had done and described his prospects for rehabilitation as "bleak".

"I understand that many will say that your crime is so serious in so many respects that I should not impose a non-parole period. That is, you deserve to be locked away for ever. I see the attractiveness of that argument, but the sentencing process is not as simple as that."

Justice Coghlan said he took into account Freeman's age.

"Whatever happens, you will spend what will be regarded by many as the best years of your life in prison. I have come to the conclusion it is appropriate to fix a non-parole period.

"I do not regard you a being beyond redemption. You are only 37 years of age. I've had regard to your mental illness and ... I have taken it into account in deciding both whether I should fix a non-parole period and deciding what that non-parole period should be."

He said Freeman's previous good behaviour, his character references and the support he had from his family were taken into account.

But he said one of the very unfortunate features of the case was that others seemed to "blame themselves for what you have done".

"They should not. You did what you did. You are responsible for it, and nobody else is."

Minutes before the murder, Freeman phoned Ms Barnes and told her to "Say goodbye to your children".

He parked his four-wheel-drive in the left-hand emergency lane of the bridge, coaxed Darcey out of the car and picked her up.

Freeman then carried the child in his arms to the edge of the bridge and threw her over the edge.

During his three-week trial Freeman did not deny killing Darcey, but his barrister argued Freeman was "mad not bad" when he threw her from the bridge.

He pleaded not guilty on the grounds of mental impairment but a jury last month found him guilty of murder.

Neither Freeman’s parents, nor the Barnes family, commented as they left the court.


Jury finds Arthur Freeman guilty of murdering daughter by throwing her off bridge

By Stuart Rintoul - The Australian

March 29, 2011

AFTER five days, a jury of seven women and five men last night found Arthur Freeman guilty of murdering his four-year-old daughter, Darcey, when he threw her from the top of Melbourne's West Gate Bridge.

Freeman stood impassively as the verdict was delivered just before 8pm, his hands folded in front of him. His former wife, Peta Barnes, also showed no emotion. Both left the court without a word.

After the verdict, Supreme Court judge Paul Coghlan excused the jurors from having to serve on another jury for 10 years, at which point four women jurors burst into tears.

Earlier yesterday, Justice Coghlan gave the jury final directions after allowing seven jurors to asks questions. He told them that, to find Freeman not guilty, they needed to accept that on the balance of probabilities he did not know the "nature and quality" of his conduct, or know it was wrong when he threw his daughter to her death.

But he told them they should not "reason backwards" that Freeman must have been mentally impaired because no sane person would do what he did.

Freeman's barrister, David Brustman SC, had argued Freeman was mentally impaired at the time he killed his daughter; prosecutor Gavin Silbert said it was a case of "spousal revenge" by a man who feared he was about to lose joint custody of his children.

In his closing statement, Mr Brustman told the jury: "In the dock sits a man who flung a four-year-old girl, his own daughter, to her death.

"It is the easiest thing in the world simply to say that these events are nothing more than an evil man punishing his estranged wife in the worst possible way he could, by taking from her the most important thing in her life, which of course is her child.

"Doesn't his act, don't all his actions, scream at us madness? What we say to you is, his impaired mind caused him to do this."

The facts of the case were not in dispute. At about 9.15am on January 29, 2009, while driving back to Melbourne from his parents' Airey's Inlet home with his three children, Ben, 6, Darcey, 4, and Jack, 2, Freeman, 37, stopped his car on the West Gate Bridge, put his hazard lights on, walked calmly to the railing and tossed Darcey over the edge. She fell 58m to her death. It was to have been her first day of school.

The court heard Freeman and his former wife, who divorced in June 2008, were locked in a custody battle over the children and Freeman felt he was going to lose joint custody.

Ms Barnes told the court that on the day Darcey was killed, she had gone to the school and became concerned when the girl did not arrive. She phoned Freeman. "His response was, 'Say goodbye to your children'," she said.

Freeman entered a not guilty plea to Darcey's murder, based on a defence of mental impairment. But Mr Silbert argued Freeman was not mad and urged the jury to put out of their minds the idea that only madness could have made a father do what he did.

Key to the defence case was the evidence of psychiatrist Graham Burrows, who told the court Freeman was suffering from a "major depressive disorder" and was "very probably" in a dissociative state, like that of a sleep walker, at the time he killed his daughter.

He said Freeman did not recall dropping Darcey to her death: "He still doesn't believe it occurred. He still doesn't believe he could have done it. But . . . people have told him he's done it, so he accepts that."

In cross-examination, Mr Silbert SC said Professor Burrows, who has had a distinguished career, was "the psychiatrist of last resort", the only one of six psychiatrists to have examined Freeman who thought he was so deeply depressed, so mentally impaired, that he did not know what he was doing when he flung his daughter from the bridge.

Yvonne Skinner, a psychiatrist in more than 80 cases of people killing their children, told the court Freeman's actions indicated he was acting "consciously and voluntarily".

Forensic psychiatrist Douglas Bell testified "all of the observations of witnesses regarding his behaviour on the morning of Darcey's death suggest he knew the nature . . . of his conduct". He said Freeman would not have been able to complete tasks as complex as lifting Darcey over the railing of the bridge had he been in a "dissociated" mental state.

"Mr Freeman parks his car in the far left emergency lane, puts his hazard lights on, opens the door of his car, reaches in, pulls Darcey from her seat," he said.

"He . . . walks her to the bridge, then lifts her above the high side rail and throws her over. He then returns to the car, starts it, drives off into traffic. This is a complex . . . sequence of goal-directed behaviours not compatible with a state of mind in which behaviour is not conscious or voluntary."

Witnesses recalled their shock at seeing Freeman throw the little girl from the bridge. Barry Nelson, who was driving to work with his wife, said he saw the child's hair and limbs flying. He said Freeman appeared to show no sign of aggression or emotion. "He may have been posting a letter," he said.

But Dr Bell said Freeman's behaviour at the Commonwealth Law Courts, where he handed himself in to security guards and where he was captured on CCTV footage trembling and crying, indicated he was "catastrophically overwhelmed by the enormity of what he has done".

In a devastating taped interview played to the jury, Ben Freeman, who was six years old, said he and Darcey and Jackson were playing games in the back of the car before they stopped on the bridge and his father asked his sister to get in the front seat.

He said his father carried Darcey against his shoulder before throwing her over the side. He remembered he didn't hear her scream as she went down.

"My Dad went out with Darce and then he threw her over the bridge," he said. "I didn't hear her scream on the way when she . . . nothing, nothing, nothing."

After his father returned to the car and drove away, the boy pleaded with him to go back. "I said go back and get her," he said. "And Dad keeps driving along. Then I said Darcey can't swim . . . and then Dad would just keep on driving, didn't go back to get her. I kept on saying it over and over again and he never did it."


Freeman had always seemed normal

By Andrea Petrie -

March 29, 2011

ARTHUR Phillip Freeman is a man of distinctive appearance. His long, unkempt hair sprouting from around his balding crown frames a face that appears etched in permanent puzzlement.

If not for the suit and tie he has worn to court every day over the past two weeks, he could be mistaken for a homeless person. Chief Crown prosecutor Gavin Silbert, SC, said he had the ''Rasputin-like appearance of a mad monk''.

But, as family photos attest, Freeman did not always look like this. Nothing about his appearance suggested he was anything other than a normal man leading an unremarkable life.

And right up until the moment he threw his four-year-old daughter Darcey off the West Gate Bridge, that's exactly who he was.

Freeman studied computer science at Deakin University in the 1990s before he landed an IT job at RMIT's aeronautics campus at Fishermans Bend.

He loved cars and autocross, and along with a group of friends, kept himself busy buying Ford Escorts and preparing them for racing.

In 1998, he met Peta Barnes, a human resources rep who was working her way up the corporate ladder.

They quickly moved in together, to a place in north Richmond, and on December 31, 1999, they married. A family member recalls that many thought the wedding date was ironic - a computer nerd getting married on millennium New Year's Eve when it was foretold the world would fall apart due to the Y2K bug.

Freeman and Barnes's world did fall apart ,but that trauma, followed by unfathomable tragedy, was still years away.

On January 17, 2000, Freeman and Ms Barnes moved to London, where he got a well-paid job in IT.

Their first child, Benjamin Eric, was born on February 1, 2002, followed by Darcey Iris on February 11, 2004, and Jonathan Jackson William on February 24, 2006.

On June 24, 2006, just weeks before Freeman was due to get his permanent residency in Britain, they moved back to Australia.

Freeman struggled to get a job and suffered regular mood swings. The marriage came under increasing strain, and ultimately fell apart on March 23, 2007.

Freeman and Ms Barnes shared custody of their children - three days on, three days off.

But when Freeman announced he was returning to Britain to get his permanent residency following their divorce in June 2008, Ms Barnes sought to alter the custody arrangements formally through the courts.

This enraged Freeman, who returned home in December 2008 and sought legal advice.

A hearing was set at the Federal Magistrates Court for January 27-28, 2009, but first the family had to meet with a psychologist, who was to interview everyone involved to determine what was best for the children.

Freeman met the psychologist on December 12. He was late to the meeting and to a subsequent meeting. He kept interrupting when other family members were being interviewed.

''It caused the children to be … more distressed than they needed to be,'' the psychologist later said.

The psychologist recommended that the children reside with their mother and spend time with their father on alternate weekends.

The report stated Freeman had ''chronic personality and interpersonal problems that are caused by a tendency to irrationality, contradiction and denial of responsibility''.

Despite this, the psychologist noted that Freeman appeared to have a warm and loving relationship with all his children.

Ms Barnes later told police that ''Arthur appeared happy when I left the court''.

To friends he expressed anger, disappointment and frustration at the outcome.

Ms Barnes phoned him later that night - January 28 - to speak to the children. He said he would get them to call her the following morning on their way to Darcey's first day of school.

Ms Barnes never had the chance to speak to her daughter again.

During the trial, Ms Barnes glanced at the man responsible for destroying her world.

''The whole time I knew him he was always clean-shaven and professional in his dress, so his hair was short, professionally cut,'' she told the jury.

The man in the dock barely resembled him.


Arthur Freeman jury urged to reject evidence of sole defence witness

By Paul Anderson - Herald Sun

March 22, 2011

THE evidence of the sole defence witness in the murder trial of Arthur Freeman should be rejected because he was contradictory and determined to justify his own expert opinions, a jury has been told.

In his closing address, chief Crown prosecutor Gavin Silbert, SC, today said Mr Freeman's not guilty plea to murdering his daughter Darcey Freeman on the grounds of mental impairment rested on the evidence of Professor Graham Burrows.

Prof Burrows had told the Supreme Court trial that Mr Freeman suffered a “major depressive disorder” and was in a “dissociative state” - like that of a sleepwalker - when he threw Darcey, 4, off the West Gate Bridge on January 29, 2009.

“This case is essentially about Prof Burrows and his evidence,” Mr Silbert said.

“At the end of the day you should reject Prof Burrows entirely."

The jury has heard Prof Burrows was the only one of six psychiatrists who assessed Mr Freeman to back his mental impairment defence.

Mr Silbert today said Mr Freeman was mildly to moderately depressed due to his “situation in life” after a court custody decision, and that his anger management problems bubbled over.

Defence counsel David Brustman, QC, will begin his closing address this afternoon.


Darcey's bridge death was 'spousal revenge'

By Andrea Petrie -

March 18, 2011

There is no evidence to suggest that a man who threw his four-year-old daughter off the West Gate Bridge was mentally impaired to a point where he was unable to distinguish between right and wrong, a court has heard.

Experienced clinical psychiatrist Dr Yvonne Skinner, called by the prosecution as a rebuttal witness in Arthur Phillip Freeman’s Supreme Court murder trial,  testified today that she believed Freeman was acting consciously and voluntarily when he threw his daughter Darcey 58 metres to her death.

Freeman, 37, of Hawthorn, has pleaded not guilty to murdering Darcey on January 29, 2009.

Dr Skinner told the court she assessed Freeman over several hours on November 22 last year and did not believe he was psychotic on the day of her death.

When asked if she believed Freeman’s actions were consistent with ‘‘spousal revenge’’ or ‘‘filicide’’ (killing a child to get back at a spouse), Dr Skinner answered ‘‘yes.’’

She said this was apparent by the fact that Freeman had got his children ready that morning, loaded up the car, made several phone calls on his way to Melbourne, spoke to his children on the way, received phone calls from his wife during which he made threats against the children’s lives.

He had also parked the car on the bridge, put his car’s hazard lights on, asked his daughter to climb into the front of the vehicle, got out of the car, picked her up and tossed her over the railing, she said. Then he got back into his car and continued driving, stopped further up the road so his son Ben could get in the front seat, parked his car at the Commonwealth Law Courts and went inside where he was ultimately arrested.

Freeman’s actions that day were ‘‘well organised and purposeful’’, Dr Skinner said.

‘‘There is no evidence that he had a mental illness or automatism and that he did not know what he was doing was wrong.’’

She agreed with defence witness, Professor Graham Burrows, who testified yesterday that Freeman was likely to have been suffering depression at the time of his daughter’s death and was under a lot of stress following a two-day court hearing to determine the financial settlement with his ex-wife and custody arrangements surrounding their three children. But she said she disagreed with the professor on the severity of his depression.

She also agreed that Freeman might have been in a ‘‘dissociated’’ state when he tossed Darcey off the bridge, explaining that dissociation was a ‘‘transient state’’ so could have lasted for minutes or probably longer.

The court heard that Freeman told one of six psychiatrists who assessed him following the event, that his daughter was headstrong and unmanageable, needed firm handling and also craved attention.

The trial, before Justice Paul Coghlan, continues.


Court shown CCTV footage of Arthur Freeman minutes after throwing daughter off bridge

By daniel Fogarty -

March 10, 2011

Arthur Freeman, who had minutes earlier thrown his daughter off Melbourne's West Gate Bridge, stood shaking, staring out the window of the Commonwealth Law Courts building.

Tears ran down his face and mucus came out his nose, but he did not wipe it away.

Court staff also tried to speak to Mr Freeman, but he did not respond.

He simply stood there staring, shaking and sobbing.

CCTV footage of Mr Freeman's time in the court foyer was played to the jury today in his Victorian Supreme Court trial for the murder of his four-year-old daughter Darcey.

In the footage, Freeman's six-year-old son Ben sits beside him in what appears to be a school uniform.

His two-year-old son Jack is wearing only a nappy and for much of the footage is hidden behind Mr Freeman's leg.

At times the boys tug at Mr Freeman's arms and put their hands around his waist, but he continues to stare.

They walk away and Mr Freeman does not stop them.

Mr Freeman, who had been in a custody battle with his wife, threw his daughter off the West Gate Bridge and then drove to the courthouse.

Security staff first noticed him when he came up to them at a screening point and tried to hand over his two-year-old son.

Mr Freeman was told to keep the child and walk through an X-ray machine.

It was a Thursday - "divorce day" - and Mr Freeman was holding up a long line of people.

He was asked if he was OK and he began crying.

The CCTV footage shows him crying for about half an hour.

Ilana Katz, a psychologist at the court, was among those who tried to talk to Mr Freeman.

She noticed he was significantly distressed and that he appeared to be in a "frozen state".

Another counsellor at the court Christine Bendall also spoke to him.

"He didn't appear to have the ability to wipe his nose,'' she told the jury.

The footage later shows Mr Freeman being taken from the court by police.

Clinical forensic registrar Justin du Plessis was called to the St Kilda Rd police complex to decide whether Mr Freeman was fit to be interviewed by police.

He was "extremely concerned" about Mr Freeman's mental state and wrote he was "clearly not fit for interview" in his notes.

"He was hunched over in the chair," Dr du Plessis told the jury.

"He was crying. He wasn't speaking to me. He wasn't replying, responding to any of my questions. Not even once, there wasn't a single verbal response. And he was shaking or trembling."

He found Mr Freeman had acute psychiatric distress.

Later asked by Chief Crown Prosecutor Gavin Silbert if the distress could have been from "falling apart as a result of having thrown his child over the bridge", Dr du Plessis said that was a possibility.

Mr Freeman, 37, of Hawthorn, has pleaded not guilty to murder and will argue mental impairment.

The trial before Justice Paul Coghlan is continuing.


Arthur Freeman charged with murder of daughter in West Gate Bridge horror

Man throws daughter over bridge, killing her

January 29, 2009

A MAN charged with the murder of his daughter, whom he allegedly threw off Melbourne's West Gate Bridge, did not appear in court today because he was deemed suicidal.

Arthur Freeman, 36, was expected to appear in the Melbourne Magistrate's Court for a filing hearing, but the court heard he was unfit to be interviewed by police.

Mr Freeman was in an acute psychiatric state and there were concerns he may harm himself, the court heard.

Mr Freeman was arrested outside the Federal Court in Melbourne about 10.30am (AEDT).

A Royal Children's Hospital spokeswoman said Mr Freeman's daughter, named Darcy, died at 1.35pm.

Darcy was pulled from the water by police at about 9.30am after allegedly being thrown 58m from the bridge at 9.10am.

Mr Freeman was arrested after security staff noticed him standing in the foyer with his two sons, aged seven and 23 months.

Police were called and several officers arrested Mr Freeman, who offered no resistance.

Just before he was taken away, he asked security guards to look after his children.

t the time of his arrest, police had no indication Mr Freeman was connected to the West Gate Bridge incident.

Paramedic team manager Trevor Weston said paramedics worked on Darcy for almost an hour.

"Paramedics worked for about 50 minutes at the scene and the child was then conveyed to the Royal Children's Hospital," Mr Weston said.

She was airlifted to the Royal Children's Hospital in a critical condition with massive internal injuries.

Homicide squad Det-Insp Steve Clark said Mr Freeman's sons may have been in the car with him on the bridge.

He said the girl's mother, Peta Freeman, had been informed and was with police.

"She's currently assisting police the best she can in terrible, terrible circumstances," he said.

Det-Insp Clark said a number of witnesses had already come forward and were being interviewed by police.

Bridge security

Victorian Premier John Brumby said it was too early to think about extra security measures on the West Gate Bridge following the girl's death.

"To be honest people probably aren't thinking about those things. They're just thinking, they're feeling for the family and how this could have occurred," he said.

"I think every Victorian, you just shudder, you just think how could that happen and it's just such a terrible thing.

"All Victorians' hearts would go out to the family, to the child ... we just hope and pray."



home last updates contact