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23 April 2013, 09:42
Police believe a newborn baby found abandoned in Bolton had been alive for up to two hours before she was discovered.
The child, named Alia by officers, was discovered by a couple walking their dog on Ox Hey Lane on Thursday March 14th.
She was wrapped in clothes and a plastic bag, with a note asking for an Islamic burial.
Six weeks on, police are still unsure as to how Alia died and have yet to find her parents.
Medical tests show the baby was born alive and lived independently from her mother for up to two hours.
Three items were also found near the body. They are:
- A Tesco bag. Written on the bag, in English, are the words "Please please bury him Islamic way please please." This is an old Tesco carrier bag and one that is not currently in circulation. It is believed baby Alia was wrapped in a white shirt, cotton trousers and placed in this bag.
- A JD bag. The Tesco bag was placed in this bag, it is used during sales twice yearly - once in the summer and again at Christmas. It is not currently in circulation.
- Three quarter length, paint stained, cotton trousers.
Detective Inspector Aaron Duggan, from the Major Incident Team, said: "Despite the passage of time our primary concern still remains the welfare of baby Alia's parents, in particular her mother."
"She was found almost six weeks ago and we still need to make sure both mum and dad are ok both physically and mentally. This will have been a traumatic experience for them particularly if they are young.
"We have made good progress with the investigation and now know that she was born alive and lived independently from her mother for a short period. What we don't know, and what we are trying to establish, is how, where and when she died and when she was placed at Ox Hey Lane and by whom."
"That is why we need to find her parents and it is for this reason I have released images of some of the items recovered with Alia's body."
"I want the public to look at them closely. Does anyone recognise the trousers or the hand writing on the bag?"
"I want people to think about someone that perhaps they knew or suspected was, up until recently, pregnant and, coupled with these images, now think they know who the mother or father is and to call us in confidence.
"I want to appeal to the parents directly to come forward, to talk to us and explain what happened to their daughter. I want to reassure them that specialist help is still available if required. I also want to appeal to family members or close friends who may be able to help.
“I will continue to search for the answers needed in order for us to fulfil the wishes of whoever left the note with Alia on Ox Hey Lane and release her body for an Islamic burial. I would like to be able to do this having first spoken to her parents."
Anyone with information is asked to call police on 0161 856 5448, or Crimestoppers, anonymously, on 0800 555 111.