A mother is accused of murdering her three-year-old daughter after losing custody to her ex-partner.

Isla Gurney was found dead in her bed at a property in the town of Orange in New South Wales (NSW), Australia.

Her mother Tamara, 40, was in another room at the house and slipping in an out of consciousness after a reported drug overdose.

Police are investigating the possibility Isla’s death was connected to the custody battle decision.

It is reported Tamara was ‘inconsolable’ after finding out Isla would soon leave to live with her biological father Nathan Katterns, who obtained full custody.

A GoFundMe page has been set up by friends of Mr Katterns, a teacher, to support him after the tragic loss.



The page claimed that he had been involved in an 18-month legal battle after his daughter was moved 620 miles away.

In a heartbreaking tribute, Mr Katterns wrote: ‘You will always be daddy’s little girl “moo” and loved to the moon, stars, heaven and back forever.

‘You will be remembered and in the hearts of everyone who met you.

‘Every time we look out across the ocean or up to the sky, we will always think of you as our angel girl.’

According to local media reports, there were ‘no signs of injuries on Isla’s body’.

NSW police are waiting on autopsy results to establish the cause of death.

Officers were called to the home after a neighbour asked them to check on the welfare of the mother and daughter.

Isla’s grandmother Margaret Gurney told Nine News: ‘She was the most gorgeous little girl you’ve ever seen.

‘I talked to her Wednesday night, she said: “I love you, grandma, you’re the best grandma”.’

Margaret said she became concerned when her daughter sent a strange text shortly before Isla was found dead.

She said: ‘Tamara sent a text saying what a wonderful mother I was and she used past tense, so that’s when I knew.

‘Then she said: “I’ll say goodbye now, mum, I won’t be here tomorrow”.’