Woman charged with murder of 'baby Callum' 26 years after he was found dead in Warrington

The funeral of baby Callum who died in March 1998. Credit: ITV News

A woman has been charged with murder in connection with the death of a baby boy in Cheshire 26 years ago.

Joanne Sharkey, 54, will appear in court tomorrow after the body of the infant was discovered in a bin bag in an area of woodland in Callands, Warrington, in March 1998.

A dog walker made the discovery and no one knew who the baby was, or his mother was - so he was named Callum after the Callands district of the town where he was found.

A post-mortem revealed the baby weighed 7lbs 8oz.

Cheshire Police launched a murder investigation, but no arrests were made until a man and woman were detained in July 2023.

Baby Callum was laid to rest in Warrington

Ms Sharkey, from West Derby in Liverpool, had been on bail since then but was re-arrested and charged on Monday.

The baby was given the name 'Callum' after his death as his identity could not be confirmed.

Local people arranged a burial and a funeral service was held at the time

Local people arranged a burial and a funeral service was held at the time.

Detective Inspector Hannah Friend, from the force's Major Crime Review Team, described the case as "extremely emotional".

However she said: "I would ask people not to speculate.

“Criminal proceedings are now active against Joanne Sharkey, and she has the right to a fair trial.

"It is extremely important that there should be no reporting, commentary or sharing of information online which could in any way prejudice these proceedings."

Cheshire Police said the case was "extremely emotional"

The man arrested has since been released without charge and the force said it is not seeking anyone else in connection with the case.


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