A note requesting an Islamic burial was left alongside the body of a newborn baby discovered near Bolton Wanderers’ Reebok Stadium yesterday afternoon.
The body was found shortly before 5pm, wrapped in clothing and plastic bags, by a man and a woman walking their dog in Ox Hey Lane, Lostock.
Police are eager to trace the baby’s parents and, in light of the note, chief inspector Carol Martin is attempting to reach out to the Muslim community for help.
“Obviously this is an extremely upsetting incident and our investigation at the moment is twofold: finding out how and when the baby died and locating the parents,” she said.
“While we cannot speculate on the ethnicity of either parent, we have already reached out to the Muslim community through their Friday prayers through our partnership connections at the Bolton Council of Mosques.
“I cannot begin to imagine what either parent may be going through and we are very worried about their physical and emotional state.”
The age, sex or ethnicity of the baby is unknown at this stage and it is unclear whether the baby was live or stillborn.
Chief inspector Martin stressed support networks have been put in place to help the parents should they come forward.
“It is likely the mother in particular will require some form of medical attention,” she added. “I want to appeal directly to both parents or anyone who knows them to contact police or visit your GP or local hospital.
“The answer undoubtedly lies somewhere in the community and I want to appeal to the Bolton community as a whole.
“Do they know of anyone who may have tried to conceal a birth or who recently have been pregnant but now is without a baby or appears withdrawn, upset or in physical discomfort?”
The police are also appealing to residents in the Lostock area who may use Ox Hey Lane for running, cycling or walking on a frequent or daily basis.
“Have you noticed a pile of what appeared to be clothing and plastic bags in the shrubbery off the tarmacked area recently?” Continued chief inspector Martin.
“Likewise were you there over the last day or two or three and did not see anything like this?”
Anyone with information is asked to call police on 0161 856 5599, Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.