Newborn found dead at recycling centre during lockdown had suffered head injury

A newborn baby girl found dead at a waste recycling centre during the first coronavirus lockdown suffered a head injury before she died, police have said.

The unidentified infant, known only as Baby S, was found by a member of staff at the facility in Needham Market, Suffolk, shortly after 3pm on May 14, 2020.

Two years on, Suffolk Police said DNA work is ongoing to try to identify the parents of Baby S, who is believed to be from a black or mixed ethnicity background.

The force said that the injuries she sustained after death, from the waste processing, have hindered inquiries.

A police spokesperson said: ‘Officers are able to confirm Baby S was born alive at full-term, however, it is not possible to say whether there was one single cause or a combination of causes of her death.

‘She did, however, suffer a head injury prior to her death.’

The force said that the infant’s mother ‘may have been in contact with fewer people than normal’ as there was a national lockdown ‘but her pregnancy and giving birth may have been apparent and we need people with information to share that with the police’.,

A funeral was held for Baby S in February and an inquest into her death is due to take place in June.

Detective Chief Inspector Karl Nightingale said: ‘We remain hopeful and determined to identify Baby S’s family and understand what led to her discovery on May 14, 2020.

‘To assist in finding those answers we still need people to come forward and provide us with information.

‘We understand this this may create some concern, but it is the right thing to do.’

It is believed Baby S was taken to the Sackers waste recycling centre on the day her body was discovered.

She is thought to have been inside one of two waste collection vehicles which picked up commercial waste throughout the day from 52 different locations.

The waste belonged to businesses and not private homes.

Many of these were in and around the Ipswich area, with some collections being made along the general route from Sackers in Needham Market.

During the police inquiry a substantial amount of work has taken place to try to identify Baby S.

A dedicated team of officers reviewed more than 11,000 hours of CCTV footage and visited more than 800 addresses.

A comprehensive search was undertaken at the recycling centre, during which a number of items were taken away.

Forensic analysis of the items did not provide any further answers in the search for the baby girl’s parents, police said.

Anyone with information which could help the inquiry is asked to contact Suffolk Police on 101 or by using the online portal.

Alternatively, call Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111, or via their online form: http://www.crimestoppers-uk.org

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