A BABY’s remains have been found near a Scottish cemetery – prompting police to seek the mother of the infant and say they are concerned about her physical and mental health.
The body of the child, who is thought to have been a few months old, was discovered close to Seafield Cemetery in Edinburgh by a dog walker on Sunday at 5pm. It is not clear how long the remains had been at the scene for.
Police have not yet established its sex or ethnicity, and yesterday a post-mortem examination was still to take place.
While a criminal investigation may yet follow, Police Scotland officers have stressed their priority at present is the mother’s wellbeing.
Detective Chief Inspector David McLaren, who is leading the inquiry, said: “Our investigation to establish the identity of the baby and how it came to be on Restalrig Path is at a very early stage.
“However, regardless of the circumstances surrounding this baby’s death, there is clearly a mother out there who may be in need of either medical attention or emotional support.
“Our priority at this time is to locate her and provide her with all the help and support we can. If the mother reads this appeal then I would urge her to get in touch, and I want to reassure her we have her welfare at heart.
“I would urge anyone who has used Restalrig Path in the last few days or weeks, who has seen something suspicious or unusual that may assist our investigation, to contact us.”
Police would not comment on reports that the body had been badly injured, although any injuries could have been inflcited after it was left there. The remains were found in undergrowth and were “not overtly visibly”, police said.
Yesterday, police cordoned off an area while forensic examinations were carried out.
Officers stood on a footbridge over Seafield Place, which was cordoned off. There was also police tape around a section of the residential street which borders Leith Links park.
Police are looking into the possibility that the mother was from the local area and are urging anyone with information to come forward.
In particular, they are keen to hear from anyone who knew a woman who was pregnant and is now without a child.
DCI McLaren said: “Clearly, a line of inquiry will be around expectant or new mothers to try and establish whether or not there’s information in that community.
“It’s a popular path, it’s used by both dog walkers and cyclists. It’s difficult to say at this time but that’s a possibility [that the mother is local]. Certainly, in terms of looking at expectant or new mothers, the immediate focus will be in the local area.”
He said it was difficult to say how long the remains might have been at the spot.
“I must stress our investigations are at a very early stage.
As the day progresses, hopefully that kind of information will become more apparent,”
DCI McLaren added.
Appealing to the public for information, he said: “The quickest way for us to get answers is for the mother, or a family relative or friend, to get in touch with us if they have any suspicions about a mother who was expecting and is maybe not with child now. I would urge them to get in touch with us.”