Criminal investigation under way after human placenta found in Southampton park

The discovery of the placenta was made on Wednesday 21 June in the Holly Brook Park area. Credit: ITV News Meridian

A criminal investigation is under way after a human placenta was found in a park in Southampton.

The discovery of the placenta was made on Wednesday 21 June in the Holly Brook Park area.

Hampshire Police officers are now making enquiries into the possibility that a criminal offence has been committed.

A 25-year-old woman from Southampton was arrested on suspicion of the concealment of the birth of a child this week.

Following urgent DNA enquiries, she has been discounted from police enquiries and released from custody with no further action to be taken against her.

Detective Chief Inspector Elizabeth Pirie said: “We still have very serious concerns for the wellbeing of both the mother and baby in this case, and these concerns have only increased over time as we have not yet identified them. We recognise, that for whatever reason, the woman who has given birth has not felt able to speak to us.

“We are keeping an open mind into what has taken place and continue our work to understand the full circumstances surrounding this discovery. Unfortunately, we now believe due to the length of time that has passed, that we are investigating the unlawful concealment of the birth of a child.

“We have now made two arrests in the course of this investigation – we want people to know that we do not take these decisions lightly and both arrests were considered necessary in order to allow us to progress our enquiries. We have to consider the possibility that a criminal offence has been committed and need to get to the bottom of what has occurred so that we can ensure that both the mother and child involved are both ok, and if they are not, we need to investigate this.

“We are now confident that both women previously arrested are not linked to this discovery and have eliminated them from the investigation. We have made arrests only where absolutely necessary, and have eliminated a number of other people from our enquiries without arrests taking place. We are keen to do this as quickly and simply as possible.

“I want to thank people for their support over the past three months as we have worked through our investigation, and urge you to please keep engaging and co-operating with us if you think you might have information that may assist us.

“We urge anyone with information to please contact us on 101 or via our website.”

Anyone with information is asked to call 101 quoting reference 44230246419/Op Holdo.

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