Newborn 'Baby S' found dead at Suffolk recycling centre had suffered head injuries, say police

Flowers left at the grave of Baby S, who has never been identified.
Credit: Suffolk Police
Flowers left at the grave of Baby S, who has never been identified. Credit: Suffolk Police

A newborn baby girl found dead at a recycling centre during the first coronavirus lockdown had suffered a head injury before she died, police have revealed.

The girl has never been identified and has been known only as Baby S since she was found by a member of staff at the waste centre in Needham Market, Suffolk, on 14 May 2020.

Two years on, Suffolk Police said DNA work was continuing to try to identify her parents and that she was believed to be from a black or mixed ethnicity background.

The force said the injuries the baby sustained after death, from the waste processing, had hindered their inquiries.

Baby S was buried in February as police made fresh appeals for her parents to come forward. Credit: ITV News Anglia

“Officers are able to confirm Baby S was born alive at full-term, however, it is not possible to say whether there was one single cause or a combination of causes of her death,” a police spokesman said.

“She did, however, suffer a head injury prior to her death.”

The force said the infant’s mother “may have been in contact with fewer people than normal” as there was a national lockdown “but her pregnancy and giving birth may have been apparent and we need people with information to share that with the police”.

A funeral was held for Baby S in February and an inquest into her death is due to take place in June.

Police laid the little girl to rest as they had been unable to trace her family. Credit: ITV News Anglia

Det Ch Insp Karl Nightingale said: “We remain hopeful and determined to identify Baby S’s family and understand what led to her discovery on 14 May 2020.

“To assist in finding those answers we still need people to come forward and provide us with information. We understand this this may create some concern, but it is the right thing to do.”

It is believed Baby S was taken to the Sackers waste recycling centre on the day her body was discovered.

She is thought to have been inside one of two waste collection vehicles which picked up commercial waste throughout the day from 52 different locations.

The waste belonged to businesses and not private homes.

Many of these were in the Ipswich area, with some collections being made along the general route from Sackers in Needham Market.

During the inquiry a substantial amount of work has taken place to try to identify Baby S, said police. A dedicated team of officers reviewed more than 11,000 hours of CCTV footage and visited more than 800 addresses.

A comprehensive search was undertaken at the recycling centre, during which a number of items were taken away.

Forensic analysis of the items did not provide any further answers in the search for the baby girl’s parents, police said.

Anyone with information which could help the inquiry is asked to contact Suffolk Police on 101, online or by calling Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.

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