23/05/2006

Newborn baby girl suffered head injuries

Police investigating the death of a newborn baby girl found in a Warwickshire river have revealed that the child died from "significant and traumatic" head injuries received after birth.

The baby girl, who has been named Lily by police, was found in the River Alne in Aston Cantlow, near Stratford-upon-Avon, by a family walking along a path beside the river around 2000 BST on May 11.

Police said that the injuries sustained by the baby could not have been caused by a difficult birth and that they had been inflicted on the child shortly after she was born.

Detective Chief Inspector Adrian Pearson, from Warwickshire Police, said that the death was being treated an an unlawful killing.

The baby girl was found inside a white Mothercare bag, which also contained a Tesco bar, a pair of pyjama bottoms, a pair of knickers, socks, blood stained tea towels, towel and dishcloth.

The pyjama bottoms were navy blue with pictures of teddy bears on them and have been identified as part of a set produced by British Home Stores in their Christmas 2002 range. The top, which was plain blue with a single teddy logo, was not in the bag.

An item of belly button jewellery and some broken plastic was also found near the scene.

Police are appealing for information about Lily and her mother and how the baby died.

DCI Pearson said: "Lily has a family - a mother, grandparents, possibly brothers and sisters - and it is only right that she is laid to rest properly by them.

"We would urge anyone with information to come forward. We believe that the bag was there on May 10 - if you were in the area in the days before the body was discovered and either saw the bag or know that it wasn't there at that time, please let us know."

Anyone with any information is asked to contact the incident room on: 01789 444693.

(KMcA)

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