A rolled up note has been placed in the arms of a teddy bear, the only visible words are ‘goodbye little one’.
Flowers and toys have been left by neighbours in the shocked Ardoyne community, a place where everyone knows each other’s names.
A 29-year-old woman is in custody, a two-year-old girl is fighting for her life while her two-month-old baby brother, despite the efforts of emergency services, did not survive.
Both suffered serious stab wounds.
Their Brompton Park home is now a crime scene.
From the outside it is a neat terrace house, the front driveway full of toys, a happy scene concealing the horror that occurred inside. A paddling pool that neighbours say the little girl had spent all of last week’s heatwave playing in, is now neatly rolled up.
“She’s a lovely wee thing, she waves and blows kisses at everyone who walks past,” one neighbour tells me.
They added that she squealed with excitement when her mother allowed another child from the street into the front garden to play with her just days ago. “She would make you smile just looking at her, such a happy wee girl.”
Her baby brother was also well-known to the neighbours in this tight knit community. They tell me his father proudly invited anyone he met in the street to call in and see the newborn.
Most of the neighbours have lived here all their lives, raising their families at times just a few doors away from where they grew up themselves.
More recently, those of all nationalities who have made Northern Ireland their home have also moved into Ardoyne, attracted by relatively low rents, decent housing and a strong community infrastructure.
The woman arrested is originally Romanian, as are a number of other families in the street.
The children’s father is from Belfast, and his sister was a regular caller to the house, neighbours tell me. The father was in England visiting family when he received a call that all was not well.
Friends say he flew back on Wednesday morning to be at his daughter’s bedside as she fights for her life.
The wider family circle, including the children’s half-sister Lara, posted tributes online, asking people to “please pray my baby sister pulls through”.
“Anyone with negative or horrible thoughts/comments keep them to yourself,” she added.
Holy Cross Church is a big part of the Ardoyne community. Prayers were being said and candles lit on Wednesday for the little girl so seriously ill in hospital.
This is a traditionally republican community where praise for the PSNI is not easily won, but the neighbours, some with tears in their eyes, tell me how the police officers who were first on the scene — at least 10 minutes before the ambulance — saved the little girl’s life.
“I could see him (police officer) running with her in his arms to the ambulance, I’ve never seen anyone move so fast.”
While officers gave CPR to both children until paramedics arrived, the baby boy was pronounced dead at the scene.
Mark Lindsay of the Police Federation said of the officers who were first through the door of the house: “I could not be more proud of them, facing the most horrendous scene, no amount of training can prepare you for that. Despite carrying out first aid on both children they were only able to save one. My thoughts are with the family who have suffered a terrible tragedy”.
The Ardoyne community is now pulling together, preparing for the days ahead, the police investigation, more details of what happened emerging and the baby boy’s funeral.
An aunt of the children arrived while the emergency crews were still in the house, her distraught cries still haunting those who witnessed the aftermath of this unspeakable tragedy.
“I haven’t slept at all, every time I close my eyes I think of those two babies,” a young mother says.
“We left a teddy at the gate, I’ve tried explaining it as best I can to my son but he doesn’t really understand.”
They all agree there was no sign of anything wrong in the mid-terrace home, no warnings of what was about to occur.
“I’ve been asking myself all day could I have done something, should I have just called in and asked was everything all right”, one local grandmother tells me. “You read about these things happening, but you never think they’ll happen in your community, your street, to people you know.”