Detectives turn to DNA in hope of solving mystery of baby's identity

Officers remained at Sackers in Needham Market following the discovery of the baby Picture: SARAH LU

The body of the newborn baby girl was discovered at Sackers recycling centre in Needham Market - Credit: Archant

Detectives are still searching for answers one year after a newborn baby was found dead at a recycling centre in Suffolk.

Police were called to Sackers recycling centre in Needham Market on Thursday, May 14, 2020, after the dead body of the baby girl was discovered among waste material.

It is believed the baby was transported in one of two vehicles that collected commercial waste earlier in the day from 52 different locations in and around Ipswich

Despite a thorough investigation, which included scouring more than 11,000 hours of CCTV footage, detectives have not been able to identify the baby girl or her parents.

A Home Office post-mortem examination was carried out in May of last year but the cause of death was not established. 

Chief Superintendent Tonya Antonis, from Suffolk police, said the force is still awaiting a final post-mortem report and is working with DNA experts in the hope of finding a breakthrough. 

"I know people will think, 'gosh a year' but a lot of that is owing to the involvement of a lot of different experts, particularly around the DNA investigations," she said. 

"One of our focuses is on innovative DNA techniques. You'll appreciate DNA is improving all the time and we're trying to use experts in the field of DNA to help us identify the baby's parents or relatives."


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Ch Supt Antonis said the force has conducted an extensive investigation and "is desperate to get to the bottom of what's happened". 

"During the last year since we discovered her, we have done a huge amount of work," she said. 

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"We've had a dedicated team of officers who have reviewed more than 11,000 hours of CCTV footage, and we've visited more than 800 addresses.

"We did a really comprehensive search of the recycling centre but sadly that did not provide any further answers for us. 

"We're still desperate to get to the bottom of what's happened and get an identity for this little girl."

Chief Superintendent Tonya Antonis is appealing for information after the body of a newborn baby was

Chief Superintendent Tonya Antonis says police are 'desperate' to find out what happened - Credit: Archant

Ch Supt Antonis stressed that it "isn't too late" for people to come forward with information. 

"Obviously at the time the baby was discovered, we were in lockdown so really our appeal is to anyone who may have noticed a difference with a female member of the family or friend at that time, or even after lockdown was eased, to come forward. It isn't too late," she added. 

"I appreciate that it could be very difficult for people to come forward and speak to us but we do remain absolutely committed to finding out what happened to this little girl and we'd be really grateful to anyone who can help."

Anyone with information that could assist the investigation is asked to contact police on 101, quoting reference 37/26499/20.

You can also use the online portal https://mipp.police.uk/operation/363719N35-PO1.

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