A newborn baby who died on Wednesday had been left outside a Leeds church inside a Tesco Bag For Life bearing the message: “It’s What’s Inside That Counts.”
Police yesterday released more details about the circumstances surrounding the tragic death as they renewed their urgent appeal for the mother to come forward.
They said the unclothed baby boy was wrapped in a towel and shirt when he was found outside the vicarage of St Peter’s Church in Bramley.
The discovery was made by the church’s vicar as he set off for morning service at around 9.15am.
Paramedics tried without success to revive the baby, who was later pronounced dead at Leeds General Infirmary.
Floral tributes and teddy bears with messages for the baby have been left outside the church in Hough Lane since news of the boy’s death spread.
She’s certainly gone through a traumatic ordeal.Detective Chief Inspector Nicola Bryar
During a Press conference, the detective leading the investigation said the primary concern at this stage was for the mother.
Detective Chief Inspector Nicola Bryar said: “We are very concerned for her safety. She’s certainly gone through a traumatic ordeal.
“What we know is she’s given birth and hasn’t sought any medical attention, so we want to really make sure she gets that medical attention and it’s the support as well. She’s given birth and we don’t know the circumstances of the birth. The cause of death is unascertained at this time so we really want to get those answers from her.”
Although the cause of death was not determined during a post mortem examination carried out yesterday, police said the baby had reached full term and the placenta was still attached.
It is believed the bag was left under cover of darkness on Tuesday evening or early Wednesday.
Det Chief Insp Bryar said: “We know the vicar’s wife returned home about 10pm and didn’t notice the bag then.
“It wasn’t noticed until the vicar came out the following morning when he had his morning service at about 9.15am.”
Officers have been working with local midwives in an effort to identify the mother.
Det Chief Insp Bryar said: “We’ve done a number of home visits to ladies who are pregnant within the Bramley area. Unfortunately, at this time, it hasn’t brought anything of significance for us.
“Although we can’t rule out the mother having successfully concealed this pregnancy from everyone she knows, we think there will be someone out who may know who she is.”
“The death of this baby boy in these circumstances is a real human tragedy and we need to establish exactly how this situation has come about.
“The last thing we need is for that tragedy to be compounded by the ongoing risks to the mother which is why we urgently need to find her.”
A bag identical to the one in which the baby was found was also shown to the media.
Det Chief Insp Bryar said: “I would ask for anybody who was in the Hough Lane area, certainly within the hours of darkness from Tuesday evening into Wednesday, and who has seen anybody walking in the street carrying a Tesco Bag for Life of this description to come forward.
“You can contact Crimestoppers if you don’t want to speak to officers or call the 101 number.”