Police have 'exhausted all enquiries' in search for mother of newborn baby found in Tesco Bag For Life at Leeds church

It will be two years on Friday since a baby died after it was found in a Tesco Bag For Life outside a Leeds church.

The Bag For Life with the baby in was found outside a church

A baby was found in a carrier bag outside St Peter's Church in Bramley on November 23, 2016.

The bag was spotted when the vicar came out for his morning service at about 9.15am.

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During an appeal for the public’s help in 2016, the detective leading the investigation said they had not ruled out the possibility that someone other than the mother left the baby there.

The Bag For Life with the baby in was found outside a church

The white baby was found near the doorstep of the vicarage at St Peter’s Church in Bramley by the vicar, the Rev Paul Crabb.

Paramedics made efforts to revive the baby at the scene and he was taken to hospital, but died a short time later.

Detective Chief Inspector Nicola Bryar said at the time: “While we’re asking if you’ve seen anybody walking in the street, we don’t know whether the person who has dropped it off is the mum.

“We don’t know whether somebody else has assisted her.

Police holding an exact replica of the bag the baby was found in

“They may have arrived in a vehicle as well, so we’re keeping an open mind in that respect.”

She said the vicarage was not readily identifiable as such, so somebody with local knowledge might have left the baby there.

Police were particularly keen to hear from anyone who saw somebody carrying a Tesco Bag for Life in the Hough Lane area on Tuesday evening or early Wednesday morning, November 23.

Det Chief Insp Bryar said: “We believe it’s been left there during the hours of darkness. We know the vicar’s wife returned home about 10pm, didn’t notice the bag then.

The baby was found in a bag outside this church

“It wasn’t noticed until the vicar came out the following morning when he had his morning service at about 9.15am.”

Concern for mother

Detective Chief Inspector Nicola Bryar said: “We are very concerned for her safety. She’s certainly gone through a traumatic ordeal. “What we know is she’s given birth and hasn’t sought any medical attention, so we want to really make sure she gets that medical attention and it’s the support as well.

"She’s given birth and we don’t know the circumstances of the birth."

The vigil held for the baby

Although the cause of death was not determined during a post mortem examination carried out, police said the baby had reached full term and the placenta was still attached."

Fresh appeal on 1st anniversary of baby being found

One year on, police made further appeals to find out exactly what happened in 2017.Swaddled in a blue striped towel and white men’s shirt, the little boy had been placed in a Tesco Bag for Life which read: “It’s What’s Inside That Counts.”

And it was that bag which was spotted by the Rev Paul Crabb as he set off to lead the morning service at St Peter’s Church in Bramley on November 23.

Nobody knows for certain when the white baby boy was left near the door to the vicarage, but Mr Crabb’s wife had not noticed anything outside when she returned home at around 10pm the previous night.

That night had been a cold one and paramedics would try without success to revive the newborn, who was later pronounced dead at Leeds General Infirmary.

Flowers left at the vigil for the baby

Naturally, police and others had grave concerns for the wellbeing of the baby’s unidentified mother who may well have been alone as she gave birth.

It was quickly established that her son had reached full term and the placenta was still attached, so in all likelihood he had been left at the church soon after he was born.

But one of the enduring mysteries is whether it was the mother herself or someone else who visited the vicarage, which is not readily identifiable to those unfamiliar with the area.

While the police focused on establishing the mother’s identity so that she could get any supported needed, the local community were also inspired to act by the tragic events.

Floral tributes, teddy bears and notes began to appear outside the church in Hough Lane as news of the baby’s death became more widely known.

Members of the press gathered there later that day to witness lead investigator Detective Nicola Bryar making the first of several public appeals.

One anonymous, but particularly fitting, message read: “His mother may not have been able to hold him but this baby was embraced by the people of Bramley.”

The mother was never tracked down, and this Friday will mark two years since the tragedy.

'Exhausted all possible lines of enquiry'

Police today said they have 'exhausted' all possible lines of enquiry - but still do want to find the mum so they can take the baby out of storage and give him a proper burial.