The hunt is on for the missing mom of an abandoned baby cruelly left alone in a box of Tommee Tippee baby feeding products outside a home in Northamptonshire, England, last week. Police released the first photo of the baby, believed to be between 4- and 6-weeks-old, on Friday, in hopes that someone will recognize the newborn and help investigators track down the mom.
The box in which the tiny baby was discovered under a tree in front of a home in the town of Corby, after sitting undiscovered within feet of passers by who walked past oblivious, originally contained a kit for feeding newborn babies, a combination of breast milk and formula. The box was plastered with a "sold" sticker, according to a report in Britain's Daily Mirror newspaper.
Did the mother intend to keep the baby, only to change her mind for some reason? Or was she forced to abandon the baby? That's what police hope to find out, saying that though the baby is now luckily in good health, they remain concerned for the welfare of the mother who abandoned the little girl in the cardboard box.
The picture released by police of the abandoned baby can be seen at the top of this page.
"Your baby is safe and being well cared for," said Northamptonshire Detective Inspector Steve Lingley, in a statement directed at the baby's anonymous mother.
"My worry is you. It must have been an awful decision you made to have left this baby where you did in Corby. As a parent my plea to you, as another parent, is to come forward and let us help you. We would like the mum to come forward and tell us she is well. This is really important. Please call us."
After an unknown number of pedestrians passed by the abandoned baby in the box, one woman heard a noise and went to check out the source. The baby was found around 9 a.m. on September 28.
Residents in the neighborhood said that other pedestrians probably mistook the box for a piece of stray trash as garbage was collected in the neighborhood that day, and were simply unaware that there was a baby inside.
"I went to work at about 7:30 a m. I don't think the box was there when I left," said 40-year-old mom of three Nana Konadu, who lives in the home outside of which the baby was found. "It was found around 9 a.m., so it could have been there for anything up to an-hour-and-a-half. When I found out the box had been found by my house I was shocked. Who could do such a thing? My cousin told me the box was found under a tree. It is possible no one could have found the baby. It's so lucky someone found her."
Police, however, said they believed the baby might have been abandoned there as early as 6 a.m.
The unnamed baby was rushed to nearby Kettering General Hospital, and is now under care and doing well at the medical facility. When the newborn girl was found, she was wearing only a diaper and was wrapped in a blue baby blanket.
"It's a miracle someone heard her crying and had the presence of mind to investigate," said another neighborhood resident, Janet Barr.
So far, no witnesses have come forward who may have seen anyone at the scene that morning, someone who left the baby there in a box and walked away.
Lingley called the circumstances under which the baby was abandoned "quite unusual, quite extreme."
Police are hoping that with the release of the little girl's picture, the mystery of the abandoned baby could come to a quick resolution.
[Images: Northamptonshire Police]