Fresh appeal over abandoned Stotfold baby

THE description of a man in his 30s has been released by detectives who believe he may have abandoned a new-born baby girl on a Stotfold doorstep.

The infant, nick-named Isabella Ward by hospital staff, was discovered last Wednesday by a resident of Kipling Crescent, Fairfield Park, when he was locking up.

Witnesses have told Bedfordshire Police they saw a man carrying a heavy looking black holdall at around 9pm, just minutes before the baby was discovered.

He is described as white, in his mid to late 30s, slimly built and around 6ft tall.

The man has short dark hair and was wearing dark clothing.

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Images of the bag the child was found in have been released by police to jog the memory of witnesses.

Police would also like to speak to a group of teenagers, believed to be between 15-18, who were in the park near to where the baby was found.

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The four or five youths are not believed to be connected to the incident, but may have been in a good position to see the incident, or build up, and police urge them to come forward.

Detective inspector Jerry Waite said his concern however was still for the mother.

He said: “A week has gone by since the baby was left in Kipling Crescent and we still need to know what has happened to mum.

“The fact that a man may have been responsible for leaving the baby still means that she is unaccounted for.”

“I really must stress that we are not here to judge the mum for any choices she has made.

“At this stage we just need to know she is safe and well. I would appeal to her, or the man who may be with her, to contact the police in confidence.”

When ‘Isabella’ was discovered emergency services were scrambled and the infant, who is fit and well, was rushed to Lister Hospital where she received care.

She has now been discharged and has been placed with a foster family by social services at Central Bedfordshire Council. Councillor Anita Lewis, portfolio holder for Children’s Services at Central Bedfordshire Council, said: “First and foremost I am pleased to say that baby Isabella is fit and well and has been placed with a foster family who will care for her until her family have been located and decisions about her future care have been made.

“We are obviously very concerned about the health and wellbeing of her mother who must have been suffering from a great deal of pressure to have taken this action.

“It is important that we find her as soon as possible so that we can offer her any help and support that she may require at this difficult time.”

The Comet took to the streets last Thursday to talk to residents and found that disbelief resounded around the sleepy estate.

When quizzed residents said they couldn’t believe that a child had been abandoned so close to their homes and were surprised it had happened on their doorsteps.

Charles Cable, who lives in Fairfield Hall, said: “I lived in London, you’d expect to find something like that in London, but here it’s very rural, it’s a bit of a shock.”

However many people said they would be keeping an eye open for any information on the shock discovery.

James Mayes, hair stylist at Eden, near where the girl was found, said: “I think it’s an absolute shame for the mother, the family and the child.

“I will be keeping an eye open for any information and help as much as we can.”

Anyone with information that could help is asked to call Bedfordshire Police, in confidence, on 01234 841212, text to 07786 200011 or call Crime Stoppers on 0800 555 111.

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