Two-year-old is identified as young boy found dead in a dam after he ran away from home – and the heartbreaking act his grandmother made when his body was found


The grief-stricken family of a toddler who drowned in a dam has paid a touching tribute to their ‘cheeky little boy full of life’.

Luka Huddle, two, went missing from the family home in Lara, a town about 18km north east of Geelong, at 5.20pm on Tuesday. 

Police launched a widespread search for the toddler which included officers on foot and assistance from the Police Air Wing. 

Tragically, Luka was found unresponsive in a dam on a property off Goulburn Park Road – only a couple hundred metres from his home – late on Tuesday night. 

Luka’s mother, Karin Huddle, and his grandmother, Sharon Huddle, watched on as officers performed CPR until paramedics arrived.

Emergency services were unable to revive him and he died at the scene. 

On Wednesday, Sharon recounted how she had to fight through police officers to see her grandson’s body before hugging him in a final goodbye. 

Luka Huddle, 2, (pictured) was found unresponsive in a dam after he went missing from his family home

Luka Huddle, 2, (pictured) was found unresponsive in a dam after he went missing from his family home 

The toddler's mum and grandmother believe he ran off the property with the family's puppy

The toddler’s mum and grandmother believe he ran off the property with the family’s puppy

‘When I hugged my grandson, he was that cold,’ Sharon told the Herald Sun

She explained Luka was helping her ‘rug up’ their horses when he ran off the property on Tuesday. 

Sharon, along with her daughter, searched the surrounding scrub for Luka and even went to the dam but ‘saw nothing’ before calling emergency services for help. 

It is believed Luka had run off into land across the road with the family’s puppy Poppy. 

While searching for the toddler, Karin said they saw Poppy appear from the bushes completely covered in water.    

‘I saw the dog come out of the laneway… I saw her come out of the bushes,’ Karin said.

‘I screamed at her “get home” and I ran. I’ve gone “where’s the dam?” because I’ve seen that she’s wet.

‘We’re thinking, that dog has come out to inform us there’s something gone wrong.’ 

On Wednesday morning, Poppy’s paw prints could be seen in the mud on the banks of the dam.  

The dam where Luka was found is located behind a number of unkept greenhouses on private property across from the Huddle home. 

An investigation into the exact circumstances of his death is ongoing and a report will be prepared for the coroner. 

A GoFundMe page was started by Karin’s cousin, Erin Kester, to help raise funds for the single mum as she ‘processes the loss of her beautiful boy’. 

Luka was described as a 'beautiful' and 'cheeky' little boy who was 'full of life and energy'

Luka was described as a ‘beautiful’ and ‘cheeky’ little boy who was ‘full of life and energy’

Ms Kester described Luka as a ‘precious’ and ‘beautiful’ boy who was ‘full of life and energy’. 

‘Our hearts are breaking at the sudden shock of this event and the passing of dear beautiful cheeky little Luka who was always full of life and energy,’ Ms Kester wrote. 

‘In May, we had a family gathering at Karin, Luka and Sharon’s home, with our extended family. 

‘I was blessed to spend four nights with them in their home and share the joy and love of this beautiful little family.

‘In the arms of the angels, our beautiful little Luka Jade Edward.’

Ms Kester explained all funds would be used to help Karin cover Luka’s funeral and memorial expenses. 

At the time of writing, the GoFundMe had received 21 donations totalling $1,300 and has the goal of raising $8,000. 

Luka was Karin’s only child and the pair had recently moved into the small property in Lara. 

The tragedy comes less than a month after a four-year-old boy died in swampland waters in Officer, a suburb in Melbourne’s outer southeast.



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