Leeds & West Yorkshire

Shipley waste site baby 'still not identified' six years on

Associated Waste Management
Image caption The baby girl's body was found in Shipley in May 2011

A newborn baby whose body was found by workers at a waste management plant has not been identified nearly six years on, an inquest has heard.

A coroner said it may never be known what "desperate circumstances" led to "such a callous disposal" of the body of the little girl in Shipley in 2011.

The Bradford inquest heard staff found parts of the baby's body on a conveyor belt at Associated Waste Management.

Coroner Martin Fleming called it a "desperately tragic case".

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Speaking at the inquest, Det Supt Nick Wallen, of West Yorkshire Police, said night shift workers made the discovery in May while sorting rubbish brought in from across West Yorkshire.

Image caption The site, on Valley Road, sorts waste from across West Yorkshire

The search was narrowed down to 36,000 homes where the rubbish could have come from and letters were sent appealing for help.

Mr Wallen said 200 women were interviewed after a media appeal by detectives, but the mother still has not been traced.

Inconclusive post-mortem

The detective said: "This is not an inquiry that will ever be closed - if we ever receive information to suggest who mum may have been we will act on that."

Two pathologists and a further specialist could not ascertain the cause of death, the inquest heard, with a post-mortem examination unable to conclude whether the baby had been born alive.

It did show that she was full-term and had died two to three days before her body was discovered.

Image caption West Yorkshire Police continues to appeal for information

Recording an open verdict, Mr Fleming said: "It is never too late to come forward and do the right thing.

"We may never know the desperate circumstances that led to such a callous disposal."

A funeral organised by a local toddler group and staff from the plant was held for the baby more than a year after her body was found.

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