Wales

Mother assessed after death of baby Harley Ruck

Harley Ruck
Image caption Harley Ruck's family said her death was a "horrific tragedy"

A 22-year-old woman is undergoing medical assessment after her baby girl was stabbed to death.

She was arrested on suspicion of murder at their flat in Abergavenny, Monmouthshire, and is being held under the Mental Health Act.

Police found 11-month-old Harley Ruck at the flat and carried out heart massage but she was pronounced dead.

In a statement Harley's family described her as "beautiful, happy, loving".

The statement read: "In the event of a horrific tragedy to our beautiful, happy, loving little daughter, granddaughter, (great-granddaughter) niece and cousin who was loved dearly and will be sadly missed by all around her, especially by her lost heartbroken mum."

Officers were called to a flat at St David's Road at about 0530 GMT on Saturday after reports of a "domestic incident".

A police spokeswoman said: "Initial results from the post-mortem examination have established the child died from multiple stab wounds."

Det Ch Insp Jon Williams said: "I have a team of approximately 25 detectives and staff working on this case.

"Inquiries are continuing in the area and forensic examiners remain at the scene.

Image caption Neighbours have left tributes at the scene

"This is an extremely distressing incident. I would reiterate that we are not looking for anyone else in connection with the death at this time and there is no risk to the wider community.

"However, I would urge anyone with any information about this incident to contact police. It could be crucial in assisting us with this investigation."

Neighbours left soft toys and flowers at the scene.

A Gwent Police spokesperson said the woman is being detained under the provisions of the Mental Health Act and is undergoing medical assessment.

Officers said the woman was alone in the flat with the child at the time.

A neighbour said: "We can't believe this. The baby was so cute and such a pretty little thing.

"Police arrived in the street very early followed by the ambulance. Then all hell broke loose and there were cops everywhere.

"It's all so sad."

Register

Monmouthshire council said Harley had not been on its child protection register.

It said: "We are aware of the tragic death of Harley Ruck and send our condolences to her family at this difficult time.

"We are working closely with our police colleagues to support their investigations but can confirm that Harley was not on our child protection register or the subject of childcare concerns with social services.

"In line with any unexpected death of a child in Monmouthshire, the Monmouthshire Local Safeguarding Board will meet later this week to review the situation."

Anyone with any information about the incident can contact Gwent Police on 01633 838111 or Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.

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