Baby's body exhumed in Kent in cold case murder inquiry

Police exhume the body of a baby girl at Ashford Cemetery
Image caption Police hope to gather DNA to use in the cold case murder investigation

The body of a baby girl found in a carrier bag near Ashford nearly 16 years ago has been exhumed as Kent Police reopen a murder inquiry.

The newborn baby, named April by the investigation team, was found by walkers near Singleton Lake in 1995.

Post-mortem tests showed she died of asphyxiation.

The parents of April were never identified and no-one was prosecuted. Officers hope to gather DNA to use in the investigation.

Det Insp Dave Withers said: "It is important that we use advances in forensic technology to help us identify who the parents of this child are."

Toilet tissue bag

He added: "We are particularly keen to appeal to the baby's mother.

Appealing directly to her, he said: "We want to hear from you and hear your side of the story.

"We understand you may be worried or frightened by what happened, you may have been a young girl at the time and you may not have been alone.

"I urge you to contact me, I have specially trained staff who you can speak to. They will listen to what you have to say and you will be dealt with sensitively and compassionately."

The body was found by a couple walking alongside the lake on 3 April 1995.

The newborn, who weighed 7lb (3kg), had been wrapped in a Kleenex toilet tissue bag, which was inside a Motaworld carrier bag.

It is thought she was born between 26 March and 3 April.

Det Insp Withers said: "We know that it's a newborn baby. We know that she didn't live for more than probably a day or so.

"It wasn't a medically supervised birth. We know that from the umbilical cord and the tests that were carried out at the time.

"From that the inference has to be that the parents were involved in the resulting death of baby April."

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