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Dead baby found at Shipley waste site was naked
A dead baby boy found at a Shipley waste site was naked, amongst general rubbish and appears to have been born naturally, it has emerged.
Speaking after a press conference, senior investigating officer Detetctive Superintendent Mark Ridley said his officers were also studying items found near the body and also seeking to identify the child’s ethnic background.
“The baby boy was naked and not wrapped up in anything,” said Det Supt Ridley, of the Homicide and Major Enquiry Team at West Yorkshire Police.
“There is nothing to indicate from the post mortem that this was an abortion, the indications are he was born by a natural delivery.”
The grim find was made by workers sorting rubbish at Associated Waste Management in Valley Road on Wednesday night. Tons of bagged waste are opened and spread out for sorting into different waste types.
“The child may well have been in a bag at some point, but waste comes into the plant and goes through a mechanical process then it is all separated by people working manually to sort the waste,” said Det Supt Ridley.
Detectives have now established the child is likely to have died in the last two weeks and further tests are now being carried out.
Det Supt Ridley said. “At this point we are unable to say exacty what is the ethnicity. However, tests are ongoing so we should be able to give more guidance on that in the next few weeks.
“Although we have not yet been able to confirm an exact cause of death or whether or not the child was born alive, we have been able to establish that he did have a congenital heart defect and there are no signs that he suffered any injuries before he died.”
He said any use of DNA in tracing the mother could pose ethical difficulties.
“If DNA is taken from expectant mothers then that will be for medical reason,” he said.
“To use it for an investigative reason we would have to work very carefully with the health authorities and discuss the ethics of that very closely.”
Asked if anything had been left with the child’s body, he said: “There are a number of items taken from within the plant around the area which where the child’s body was found. But at this time there’s nothing to say whether they are positively linked to this child.”
He said the health of the boy’s mother was his main concern.
He said: “The mother of this little baby boy has been through a terribly traumatic experience, gone through the tragedy of losing a child and my main and overriding concern is for both her physical and psychological welfare.
“It is vitally important that she seeks medical attention and I would appeal to her to do that as soon as possible.”
Inquiries have shown that the waste in which the baby’s body was found has come from premises within West Yorkshire and officers are working with local authorities, including Bradford Council, to identify the streets where it was collected.
They are also working with health authorities and social care to try to trace the mother and give her the help she needs Anyone with any information that could assist the investigation has been urged to contact the Homicide and Major Enquiry Team via the non-emergency number 101 or anonymously through Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.
Information can also be sent via text to 07786 200805 – start your message with the word “baby”.