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Thursday, 7 November, 2002, 11:19 GMT
Tests reveal canal baby was stillborn
Green Lee holdall
The baby's body was discovered in this holdall
Tests carried out on the body of a baby boy found in a south Wales canal have revealed the child was probably stillborn.

The boy, who weighed five-and-a-half pounds, was found in a holdall in the Monmouth and Brecon canal near Newbridge on 11 October.


We cannot believe that there is only one person who knows about this

Rhiannon Hodges, Gwent Police

Results of an examination carried out by Home Office Pathologist, Doctor Stephen Leadbetter showed there was no proof that the baby had had a "separate existence" from his mother.

The investigations also showed his body could have been in the canal for up to five weeks before being discovered.

Detectives are still trying to trace the mother of the baby and are following numerous lines of inquiries.

They are also working closely with health care specialists who are advising officers.

Detective inspector Rhianon Hodges, who is leading the inquiry made a further appeal to the child's mother to come forward.

Message from public
Heartfelt messages were left at the scene

"It is so important the you receive professional, medical treatment," she said

"If you haven't made a visit to a doctor, please do so as a matter of priority or your health could suffer.

"We are sure that the mother will need psychological and physical help and we really want her to come forward," she said.

Det Insp Hodges urged anyone with information about this to contact the investigation team.

"We cannot believe that there is only one person who knows about this - there must be a relative or friend of the mother who has knowledge about it," she said.

"The amount of information we have had from the public so far has been slightly disappointing but we are investigating every line of inquiry," she added.

Teenage girls

As part of the investigation, police are still trying to track down two teenage girls seen near the canal on several occasions before the baby's body was found.

The teenagers are believed to be between 14 and 16.

The baby's body was found in the water at the stretch of the canal near the Trecelyn roundabout on the A467 road between Ebbw Vale and Newport.

It was inside a green holdall manufactured by Lee which did not have any handles or straps.

The investigating team has also brought in psychologists and have directed some of their inquiries at hospitals, local health clinics and GP surgeries.


More from south east Wales
See also:

18 Oct 02 | Wales
14 Oct 02 | Wales
14 Oct 02 | Wales
12 Oct 02 | Wales
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