A broken father is mourning the loss of his “purest” girl after the discovery of the toddler’s body in her Victorian home.
An autopsy is now under way to shed light on Nikki Francis-Coslovich’s final hours.
The two-year-old’s body was found inside her Oram Court home in Mildura on Tuesday evening, several hours after she was reported missing and the local community had turned out to help search.
Police won’t confirm reports Nikki’s body was found inside the roof cavity, but are treating her death as suspicious.
“In terms of reassurance of the community, we don’t believe it is a random incident,” Acting Inspector Rebecca Olsen told AAP.
“The child’s mother and extended family are co-operating with police and they have been assisting with all inquiries.”
Nikki’s father, Nick Coslovich, told AAP he separated from his partner in February and had not seen Nikki or their three older children – all girls – for about a month.
“I’ve lost the most purest of my four. I’ve lost my baby,” Mr Coslovich said.
“All I know is that she was reported missing and she was found dead.
“I’m hurt, I’m broken, I’ve got to try and stay strong for three other girls but I’m trying hard not to fall apart.”
Mr Coslovich said he was being kept in the dark about the investigation.
He was interviewed by police on Tuesday night and told them he had been trying to renegotiate care arrangements for the girls.
Mr Coslovich said there was no history of violence in the home, though their mother had recently met a new boyfriend who he didn’t know.
“I was going through mediation … I was too late.”