Death of newborn baby whose body was found wrapped in towels at recycling centre remains mystery

The identity and cause of death of a newborn baby whose body was found wrapped in towels at a recycling centre remain a mystery eight months later, an inquest has heard.

Wednesday, 5th May 2021, 11:49 am
Updated Wednesday, 5th May 2021, 11:55 am

The unnamed tot was discovered by "devastated" centre workers on August 20 last year in Bradford, West Yorks.

At the opening of the baby's inquest this morning (Weds), it was heard police have been unable to ascertain who the baby was and how she came to be abandoned.

Nor have the authorities been able to find her mother, Bradford Coroner's Court heard.

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The unnamed tot was discovered by "devastated" centre workers on August 20 last year in Bradford, West Yorks.

Assistant Coroner Mary Burke said: "Initial enquiries have been undertaken in respect of this baby.

"At this present time, the identity of the baby remains unknown."

Ms Burke told the court the child was discovered at the Household Waste Recycling Centre in Bradford on August 20, 2020.

Her death was confirmed by a Yorkshire Ambulance Service employee at 11.22am the same day.

Ms Burke said "the identity of the parents remains unknown", and told the court the baby's cause of death is currently "unascertained".

She added: "The police have already undertaken extensive enquiries in an effort to try and identify the parents of this baby but sadly so far they have not revealed the identity."

The court was told West Yorkshire Police have "no objection" to the child being released so that she can be buried.

Ms Burke said: "It's appropriate to proceed with formal arrangements for his baby, therefore I release the documentation to enable these steps to be put in place."

She adjourned the inquest until later this year.

At the time of the baby's discovery last year, West Yorkshire Police said they believed the baby was stillborn and it was likely the mother had concealed her pregnancy.

They revealed the child was wrapped in a pink towel, which depicted the Spanish island of Fuerteventura in yellow on a purple background.

Investigators believed the towel may have held the key to finding the mother.

There were major concerns over her welfare and fears she would require urgent medical care, as the authorities made repeated appeals to find her.

A West Yorkshire Police spokesman said at the time: “A post mortem examination has been conducted and it is believed the baby was stillborn.

“It is likely that this may have been a concealed pregnancy and the baby was not born in a hospital setting, so the mum of the baby may need urgent medical attention.

“Police and partner agencies are extremely concerned about the mum of the baby and are urging her, or any friends or family members to come forward to help get her the help and support she may need.”

Tributes and condolences poured in for the tot from across Bradford in the wake of her death

The "devastated" recycling centre workers who discovered the baby decided to honour her back in September by donating their high-vis orange uniforms to be used as a material for a handcrafted teddy bear.

They want the tot, who they named Daisy, to be buried with the bear so that they are "always with her".

Lionel Mairs, 31, was one of the workers who found the baby and his partner, Laura Pratt, 26, commissioned the bear to bring comfort to him and his colleagues.

Laura said: "Lionel was really upset and devastated about what happened but this bear has helped him.

"Originally the baby was going to have nothing so it has brought all the team comfort knowing that Daisy will have this bear with her.

"The bear is orange and wearing the work uniform so it is sort of like they will always be with her and she won't be on her own."