Police appeal over murdered baby found in shallow grave 20 years on

A senior detective says the case of Baby Stewart has stayed with the police service and they are appealing for anyone who knows his true identity to come forward. Credit: UTV

Police are asking people who may have information about the murder of a newborn baby on the outskirts of Newtownards 20 years ago to examine their conscience. A quiet patch of ground beside Strangford Lough keeps a terrible secret. In October 2000 the body of a baby boy was left there in a shallow grave. The newborn had suffered a violent death. His parents have never been identified and two decades on the murder remains unsolved.

A plaque lays where the baby was found 20 years ago near Strangford Lough. Credit: UTV

The infant was given the name Stewart - after the nearby Mount Stewart estate.

Several hundred local people came forward at the time to offer DNA samples. The community also rallied the following year to give Baby Stewart a funeral.

Police admit key questions around this case are still unanswered. They are again appealing to anyone who knows what happened here to examine their conscience.

Detective Superintendent Jason Murphy said police are "currently considering what further work might be undertaken today which may enable us to advance the enquiry." He added: "We know that the mother or parents of this little boy must have gone through an enormous trauma, whatever the circumstances, and we are asking them to examine their consciences, to come forward and tell us what happened and give this innocent baby boy his true identity back.

"Equally, given the passage of time, I would urge anyone who knows anything about Baby Stewart's death and subsequent burial in a shallow grave, and who may now feel more comfortable in coming forward, to please do so.

"You can call us on 101 or give information anonymously by calling Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111."