Baby girl found dead at recycling centre had suffered head injury (2022)

A newborn baby girl found dead in a recycling yard after being dumped in a bin suffered a head injury before she died, police have revealed today.

Detectives who are searching for her mother or family also disclosed for the first time that the girl, known only as Baby S, was born alive at full term before being dumped in a bin in Ipswich, Suffolk, on May 14, 2020.

And they confirmed that she is believed to be from a black or mixed ethnicity background.

Officers have previously admitted that they do not know whether she was alive or dead when she was dumped in a commercial bin.

Extra details about Baby S were revealed by Suffolk Police today to mark the second anniversary of the discovery of her body.

Police vehicles are pictured at the Sackers recycling depot in Needham Market, Ipswich, Suffolk, where Baby S' body was found during the first coronavirus lockdown in May 2020

Suffolk Police believe that the baby girl found among waste was no more than 48 hours old

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Baby S was discovered during the first lockdown by staff sorting waste at the Sackers recycling depot in Needham Market, near Ipswich.

Police believe she was dumped in a bin at one of 52 commercial sites in the Ipswich area which had waste picked up and taken to the centre earlier in the day by two Sackers lorries.

Officers have viewed more than 11,000 hours of CCTV footage and visited 800 homes and businesses in their hunt for clues, but have failed to identify her parents.

A post mortem by a Home Office pathologist was unable to establish her cause of death, but said that she under 48 hours old when she died.

Police today admitted that inquiries had been in hindered by injuries that Baby S received after her death, resulted from the waste processing

A Suffolk Police statement said today: '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.

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A beautiful flower wreath spelling out 'Baby S' was laid at her funeral, accompanied by several flower bouquetson February 17 this year

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

Police confirmed that they had been trying to use DNA from the body of Baby S to try and identify her.

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

'Sadly, forensic analysis of the items did not provide any further answers in the search for the baby girl's parents.

'Baby S was found during the first lockdown in the country, at a time when her mother may have been in contact with fewer people than normal, but her pregnancy and giving birth may have been apparent and we need people with information to share that with the police.'

Detective Chief Inspector Karl Nightingale who is leading the inquiry, added: 'We remain hopeful and determined to identify Baby S' family and understand what led to her discovery on 14 May 2020.

The tiny white coffin of Baby S is carried from the hearse before being interredon February 17 this year

'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.'

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Baby S was buried in a tiny white coffin on February 17 this year at a simple funeral ceremony in the Millennium Cemetery in Ipswich.

The poignant graveside ceremony was attended by 15 mourners including police, council officials and six staff Sackers.

Some wiped away tears as her coffin was carried to her grave with a single white rose on top in the children's section of the cemetery.

Celebrant Patrick Eade spoke movingly beside her grave, comparing her to a 'rosebud' that doesn't bloom as he addressed mourners.

He said: 'Baby S, you will never be forgotten. May the light of love shine upon you, and on those who care for you, and may you come to the end of your journey in gentleness and joy.

'Your memory remains in our hearts, and as long as we remember you, you will live on. With love and respect, we lay you down to rest. Go your way in peace.'

He also read a poem, which began with the words: 'The world may never notice if a rosebud doesn't bloom, or even pause to wonder if the petals fall too soon.

'But every life that ever forms, or ever comes to be, touches the world in some small way for all eternity.'

Earlier Mr Eade spoke about the baby's unknown family at a private funeral service, saying she had died 'in the most tragic circumstances'.

He said: 'It's difficult to imagine what family members of Baby S are experiencing. To move on is to put something behind you, forget about it and never look back. To 'go on' is to forever carry it forward with you and never forget.

'A bereaved parent will never move on, but 'go on'. If a message could reach the family of Baby S, I imagine it would be - 'Please tell what I can do to help'.'


Police at the Sackers waste recycling site in Needham Market, Suffolk

Mr Eade also praised police and staff from Sackers, saying: 'Each of you have played a part in 'doing the right thing', as you tried to fit together the pieces of this tragic jigsaw and ensure that Baby S will be laid to rest in a dignified manner, never forgotten, and extend help to those in need.'

He added: 'We will think of you often as days go past, asking why your life was not meant to last. The question we all ask to an imagined sky, how can this be and always asking why.'

The ceremony included the playing of 'Somewhere over the rainbow' by Israel Kamakawiwo'ole and 'The Long and Winding Road' by The Beatles

Detective Inspector Karl Nightingale said after the funeral: 'We have always kept an open mind of what led to her being placed into a bin. Time has moved on, but we remain unclear about this little girl's story.

'After nearly two years, people's lives have changed. Very few may know the truth about her story, but someone must.

'Now is the time to come forward and share with us the details of her short life, and this little baby girl her proper name.'

David Dodds, the CEO of Sackers who was at the service with some of his staff, pledged to buy a headstone for her grave.

He said: 'We just wanted to pay our respects and see her in her last resting place

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'I can't describe how harrowing it was for the members of staff who found her body. It has had a huge impact on the staff.

'We are all so concerned for her mother. We want her to get the help she needs.'


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