Portsmouth baby death: Police issue fresh plea to trace newborn's mother as investigation enters fourth month

POLICE have insisted they are continuing their search for a mother whose newborn baby was found dead in Portsmouth.

The infant’s body was discovered at the junction of Victoria Street and Old Commercial Road, near Charles Dickens' Birthplace Museum, on January 25.

But the investigation into the tragedy has stalled, with a mystery still remaining over how the baby girl died and who her mother is.

Now, as the investigation enters its fourth month, Hampshire Constabulary has said it is continuing its probe and released a fresh plea to the public.

Police launched a major operation after a newborn baby was found dead in Old Commercial Road at the junction with Victoria Street in Buckland on Saturday, January 25, at 6.18am. Picture: Keith Woodland (250120-7)

In a statement to The News, a spokeswoman for the force said: ‘Our priority still remains finding the mother of this baby.

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‘These types of investigations are very complex and involve a lot of painstaking work by officers to ensure all possible lines of enquiry are considered and properly investigated.

‘It is not too late for anyone with information to come forward and speak to us. We appreciate that this may have been a very difficult time but you can still help.’

Inspector Louise Tester, right, with Liz Rix, chief nurse at Portsmouth NHS Hospital Trust, pictured with a yellow towel similar to the one officers recovered from close to the scene, believed to have been used to wrap up the infant. Picture: Sarah Standing (300120-5162)

Officers cordoned off the road as a desperate hunt for clues began, which saw police ‘trawling through’ CCTV and searching the area.

But after a week, detectives were no closer to discovering who the mother of the child was – and what condition she was in.

In a bid for a fresh lead, investigators revealed a yellow Primark beach towel to the public, which was found near where the girl’s body was found.

Officers said the bright towel, with orange-red stripes, had been wrapped in a black T-shirt, which could have been used to carry the baby.

Speaking at the time, Inspector Louise Tester, hoped the towel would help to jog memories.

‘We know that many of you have been deeply saddened by this and there is a lot of speculation,’ she added.

‘Please be reassured that we have a dedicated team working incredibly hard to find out what has happened.’

Health concerns for the mother also saw a plea from Portsmouth’s top nurse, Liz Rix, who said: ‘If you have given birth without medical attention you may be in pain, you may be suffering from bleeding or an infection which could be potentially life-threatening if left untreated.’

Police have previously confirmed the baby was white and born at 39 weeks, which is full-term.

Results from a post-mortem examinations proved inconclusive, with experts unable to say what caused the baby’s death

Those with information can call 101, quoting 44200030626. Alternatively, call Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.

Details can also be submitted online at https://mipp.police.uk/operation/44HC20E02-PO1.

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