1. ITV Report

Cold Case: Who killed Baby Callum?

A newborn baby is meant to be a bundle of joy: the offspring we instantly fall in love with, and would never dream of harming. So why did someone kill a boy who was just two hours old? Who could bring themselves to commit such a crime, and keep their involvement secret for more than 15 years?

The spot where Baby Callum was found in 1998 Credit: ITV

All this week Granada Reports is re-examining a number of "cold cases" - unsolved murders where police investigations have stalled. In the first such case, our correspondent Rob Smith has spent time in a community that has never come to terms with the baby's murder. In the absence of the child's family, they have come to feel as if he is their own.

A dog walker found Callum's body in March 1998 Credit: ITV

A dog walker discovered the boy, in a bin liner, in woods on the outskirts of Warrington on 14 March 1998. He had been strangled, and beaten about the head. Police named the newborn, Callum, after the Callands area of the town where he was found.

Police searched the area for any clue to Callum's real identity Credit: ITV

The people of Callands tried hard to find Callum's killer and to give him the dignity he never received in life. They helped to search the area for clues. They were DNA tested to see if any of them were the child's relatives. They paid for his funeral out of their own pockets. Dozens of them told us that they would have taken in Callum, if only someone had left him alive on their doorstep.

Those living near the woods wish Callum had been left alive on their doorsteps Credit: ITV

A girl in a beige coat, spotted near the scene, was never traced and the police investigation ran out of leads. Yet someone knows Callum's real identity, and feels the pain of that date in March 1998. Detectives accept his mother may not be the killer, and say any girl who gave birth at the time - and gave her baby away - needs to contact them.

A police sketch of a girl seen near where Callum was found Credit: ITV

Anyone with any information on Callum's murder can call Cheshire Police on 101, or Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111. You can follow Granada Reports’ week of cold cases on Twitter, under the hashtag #itvcoldcase.

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