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Baby in stream 'for up to a month'

The body of a baby found abandoned in a stream may have been there for up to a month, police have said.

Tests showed the infant had probably been at the bottom of the brook in Kirkham, Lancashire, for between two and four weeks.

Detectives believe the badly decomposed body is that of a full-term white girl.

The alarm was raised on Saturday afternoon when a dog walker found the body in fields off Carr Lane in a rural location about half a mile from the town centre.

The officer leading the investigation said he could not rule out foul play at this stage as the death remains unexplained but it was more likely a case of child abandonment.

Detective Superintendent Neil Esseen said: "It is vital we find out what has happened to this child and who its parents are."

There is no direct vehicular access to the stream but Mr Esseen said that did not necessarily imply that the person who left the child was local as he emphasised the appeal was nationwide.

The baby was wearing a brown fleece jumper with a motif of a cartoon dog from George at Asda, and two muddied towels, one green and one with a Union flag pattern, in a Blackpool Borough Council bin bag were found about 20m upstream.

Mr Esseen said: "Our inquiries are focusing on the basis that someone has given birth and that the child has died or has been stillborn. If that is the case then someone out there will be in need of urgent medical and emotional support and it is vital that they contact us.

"We have released a number of pictures of items found at the scene and I would ask people to have a look at them and see if they can make any connection to someone they know that was pregnant."

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