A toddler critically injured during an incident under investigation in County Durham two days ago has lost her fight for life.

Her heartbroken father has taken to social media to announce the devastating news his ‘beautiful brave little girl’ has died. 

Two-year-old Maya Louise Chappell was airlifted to the RVI in Newcastle in a critical condition after emergency services were called to Shotton Colliery on Wednesday afternoon.

Read more: Floral tributes left outside County Durham home after heartbreaking death of toddler

Police are continuing to investigate the circumstances surrounding the incident and said a man in his 20s was arrested at the scene on suspicion of assault with intent to cause serious harm.  

\On Friday evening evening (September 30) James Chappell, Maya's father, writing on Facebook, said: “It breaks my heart to be writing this but sadly my beautiful brave little girl has gained her wings she was too good for this world and as a reward she’s going to play in the stars.

“I love you so much Maya Louise Chappell, you are my life, my earth and my idol and I’ll always look up to you and love you with all my heart. RIP baby girl.

“Anyone who would like to pay their respects via social media are more than welcome.”

The little girl’s death will come as a tragic shock to the close-knit former mining community where she lived.

Read more: Suspect quizzed over serious assault after girl, 2, is critically injured

Earlier on Friday, residents of Milton Grove said they were praying for her and hoping she would pull through.

They also said the nature of criminal investigation underway had left them ‘feeling sick’

Police have said the man arrested on Wednesday had been released pending further inquiries.

The Northern Echo: Forensic investigators on the scene in Shotton Colliery. Picture: GAVIN HAVERYForensic investigators on the scene in Shotton Colliery. Picture: GAVIN HAVERY (Image: Forensic investigators on the scene in Shotton Colliery. Picture: GAVIN HAVERY)

Forensic investigation teams were back at the scene for a second day today and the mid-terraced house is being treated as crime scene.

Durham Constabulary has asked people to allow officers to carry out their investigations and not speculate on the circumstances surrounding the incident.

To get more stories from County Durham direct to your email basket go here

Earlier on Friday, Detective Chief Inspector Christopher Barker said: “We appreciate that friends, family and neighbours are deeply concerned by this incident, but we ask that the community refrains from speculation over the circumstances or naming of those involved online.

“A police vehicle was deliberately damaged whilst in attendance at the scene, and I’d like to remind the public that obstructing our officers as they carry out their enquiries is not helpful.

“Please allow us the space to conduct a thorough investigation into the circumstances of the incident.”

Read next:

If you want to read more great stories, why not subscribe to your Northern Echo for as little as £1.25 a week. Click here