The father of the toddler who was found dead in the roof of her Mildura home in 2015 has spoken about his heartbreak over losing his "angel", and says he warned authorities that she was in danger before her death.
Nikki Francis-Coslovich, 2, was found dead at 5.15pm on August 25, 2015 after being reported missing by her mother. Her body was battered and bruised, and had lost one third of her blood volume.
Last week her step father John Torney was found not guilty of murder and manslaughter. He pleaded guilty to hiding her body in the roof, but claimed it was the mother, Peta-Ann Francis, who killed her. Police have not charged the mother.
Her father, Nick Coslovich says not knowing what happened to this daughter is “eating him up”.
“The worst part is that I can’t determine who did what. I don’t know who did it to my little girl,” he told A Current Affair.
“She was an angel and to everybody who met her she was like one of those rays of light that ya know, you’re having a bad day and ... she would just make you feel good. That was Nikki’s little gift,’ he added.
Mr Coslovich says he had expressed concerns over Nikki’s safety to the Victorian Department of Human Services several times.
“The place just wasn’t the right place for her to grow up and develop,” Mr Coslovich told A Current Affair.
“I told that I heard he was a violent person and that he was staying in the house after he had said they weren’t living together. I told them.”
“Whether it was a lack of information, a lack of evidence, whether it was everybody — a lack of protocol or red tape or whatever it was, nothing was done and Nikki paid the price,” he added.
“She died alone, she had her daycare taken away, she had her dad taken away, she was locked in her room, spent a week of torment and died.”
Nikki’s case with the DHS was close just six weeks before her death.
The Victorian Department of Health and Human Services released a statement following the death of Nikki, saying it deeply affected the staff who worked on her case.
Nikki Francis-Coslovich's death is a tragedy and has had a significant impact on the community, including the child protection and agency staff who worked with her.
The department and leaders across the child protection system are committed to continuous improvement to ensure we are giving the best response possible for vulnerable children and their families.
Child protection decision making is complex and judgments are made based on the facts that are known at the time.