Appeal after fresh lead in baby body case

A police vehicle preventing public access to the scene

A police vehicle preventing public access to the scene

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DETECTIVES investigating the death of a baby whose body was found in a brook in Kirkham are appealing for a girl seen pushing a pram close to the area to come forward.

Police have received information a girl, described as being in her late teens, was seen on a dirt track near Carr Lane, quite close to the scene, pushing an empty pushchair at around 7pm on Monday September 26 or Tuesday September 27.

She was described as being around 5ft 5in tall, with dark hair pulled into a ponytail and wearing dark pants and a zip up top.

Senior Investigating Officer, Det Supt Neil Esseen said: “This information is new and I would appeal for the person to come forward so they can be ruled out of the inquiry.

“I would also extend that appeal to the Kirkham community and ask them to think back and see if they can remember witnessing a girl pushing a pram.

“Even the smallest pieces of information may prove crucial in finding out exactly what has happened.”

Detectives believe the baby was wrapped in towels and placed in a branded Blackpool Council-issued bin bag before being abandoned in a remote ditch in countryside on the outskirts of Kirkham.

Ditch

The badly decomposed body – believed to be a white girl and no more than a month-old – was found in Spen Brook around 2pm on Saturday by a dog walker.

Police say the body could have been in the water for up to four weeks. Det Supt Neil Esseen, who is leading a team of 40 detectives, said he did not believe the child would have been alive when she was left in the ditch but a post mortem was unable to determine how she died.

He said: “It’s vital we find out who this child is, what has happened to this child and who its parents are.

“We believe there may be a link between towels found in a bin bag around 20 metres up stream from where the child was discovered. It is possible the baby had been wrapped in the towels before being left.

“We have got nothing concrete to say it is a local child or the person who has left it is local. The bin bag is from Blackpool Council but it is a nationwide inquiry as the bag could have been picked up by anyone who had visited the town previously.

“Although we still cannot rule out any foul play, our inquiries are focusing on the basis that someone has given birth and that the child has died or has been stillborn. If that is the case then someone out there will be in need of urgent medical and emotional support and it is vital that they contact us.”

“Because the baby’s death is unexplained I have to keep an open mind whether this was foul play or a case of child abandonment.

FOR MORE ON THIS STORY SEE TUESDAY’S GAZETTE