Belfast Telegraph

Wednesday 23 July 2014

Funeral for baby found wrapped in 1935 newspaper

The skeletal remains of an unidentified baby found hidden in an attic in Portstewart have finally been laid to rest in a moving cross-community service.

Yesterday police in the resort appealed again for more information about the identity of the child — whose age, name and sex are still unknown.

The infant was wrapped in a newspaper from the 1930s and hidden between the floorboards in the attic of a derelict house at The Promenade, where workmen made the grim discovery in October 2009.

At a graveside service at Agherton Cemetery in Coleraine yesterday, Presbyterian minister Reverend Terry Lafferty and local priest Father Austin McGirr read scriptures and led prayers as the baby was buried.

The PSNI team investigating the case was also present and in a touching gesture, undertakers Hugh Wade & Sons conducted the burial for free and Coleraine Borough Council supplied a plot for the tiny white coffin.

Detectives have consulted the Home Office, police forces across the UK, forensic experts, local people, Census records and even one of the UK’s best known chocolate manufacturers in an effort to establish what happened to the baby — but have turned up no new clues.

Police think the baby was born and hidden in the house in the 1930s — in addition to a London Evening Standard dated 1935, which was wrapped around the body, a magazine, My Weekly, and a Bourneville chocolate wrapper were also found nearby.

Rev Terry Lafferty said: “It was a very unusual and poignant funeral but there was a family of community present.”

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