Schoolgirls in inquiry focus

Police conference on the body of a baby found in Kirkham.

Police conference on the body of a baby found in Kirkham.

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BLACKPOOL schoolgirls are set to be the focus of detectives searching for the mother of a baby found dead in a stream.

Kirkham residents gathered at the town’s community centre last night as officers gave an update on the tragic case.

DI Martin Clague

DI Martin Clague

On Friday, a 35-year-old man, from Barrow, was arrested on suspicion of the murdering the baby boy – who was found in a Kirkham brook off Carr Lane on October 1.

He has since been released without charge.

Now as detectives continue their inquiries, they are set to move into Blackpool schools and colleges with their investigations.

A Blackpool Council bin bag and two towels were found close to the body and are believed to be connected to the case.

Det Insp Martin Clague, of Lancashire’s major investigation team, said: “Finding the identity of the mother is vital if we are to get to the bottom of this sad and tragic incident.

“So far we have focused our efforts in the immediate locality but we will be moving out into the immediate areas.

“We hope to speak to school nurses and teachers and any place where young women may go to seek advice on a recent pregnancy.”

Det Insp Clague said although he was pleased with the response locally, police were still looking for that “golden nugget” of information” to help move the investigation further forward.

Several lines of inquiry are still being followed including a DNA samples taken from the baby’s body.

The force has also looked into the possibility of getting the case featured on TV appeal programme Crimewatch.

Members of the public raised a number of questions, including whether or not it was likely the operation was to be scaled down.

But Det Insp Clague said: “We continually review in terms of expenditure but we are at a vital stage in the investigation. It’s likely to get bigger.”

Kirkham mayor Coun Elizabeth Oades said she had been overwhelmed by the response of local people who are fundraising so the child will not have to be buried in a “pauper’s grave”.

She said: “I have already had two funeral directors come forward and offer to fund the funeral.

“An organist had donated his time and we have had offers of wreaths and someone who will release doves.”

Detectives believe the badly decomposed body was that of a full term baby boy who was around one month old.