Murdered Chloe was “known” to social services

The four-year-old killed at her home in Merseyside was “known” to social workers, it has emerged. The body of little Chloe Fletcher was found at her home in Wallasey and her 22-year-old mother was being questioned on suspicion murdering the child.

The revelation that Chloe had been subject to supervision by social workers was expected to prompt calls for assurances about the handling of the case, but a town hall spokeswoman refused to discuss details.

A radical overhaul of social services in England was ordered late last year following the “Baby P” child abuse case.

A damning report into the death of the 17-month-old boy showed that had been visited by social workers in Haringey, North London, more than 60 times before he was found dead in August 2007.

Chloe died at the semi-detached house in Oakland Avenue where Crime Scene Investigators spent the day carrying out a meticulous inch-by-inch search of the property.

Neighbours told how they had often seen the blonde youngster with her mother.

Chloe’s body was found by police and an ambulance crew who were called at 1.43 am on Tuesday.

Mothers at the nearby Oakdale Nursery School said Chloe had been enrolled at classes only a week before her death.

Neighbour Jim McManus recalled how the mother, wearing a baseball cap and a tracksuit had been led out of the house in handcuffs by police.

Mr McManus said: “The mother is a very quiet girl who kept herself very much to herself.

“We did not see much of them but the child always looked very well turned-out. She was a lovely kiddy.”

A telephone box in nearby Brentwood Street was also taped-off by police and was being examined in connection with the murder inquiry.

Another neighbour said: “I heard a lot of commotion and looked out of the window. There were three or four police cars and an ambulance.

“A little while later the little girl’s body was wheeled out on a trolley.

“She was a gorgeous girl and she had just started at the nursery. We used to see her walking down the street holding her mum’s hand.

“It is very sad and hard to understand what could have happened inside that house to end up with Chloe being killed.”

A post mortem was performed by a Home Office pathologist.

Floral tributes were laid outside the three-bedroomed red painted council house near the Mersey Tunnel approach road.

A Wirral Council spokeswoman said: “We would like to extend our deepest sympathies to everyone in the community affected by this tragedy.

“The little girl and her family were known to a number of agencies including the Children’s Social Care Team at Wirral Council.

“Given the early nature of the police investigation it would be inappropriate for us to comment further at this time.”

A spokesman for Merseyside Police said: “At 1.42am, police received a phone call made from a public phone box on the corner of Poulton Road and Brentwood Street in Wallasey.

“Officers attended an address at 67 Oakdale Avenue, Wallasey, where the body of Chloe was discovered.

“A 22-year-old woman was subsequently arrested on suspicion of murder and remains in police custody.

“Detectives are keen to speak to anyone who witnessed anyone using the phone box at around 1.40am this morning or has any other information to call them on 0151 777 2265 or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.”