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Tuesday, May 17, 2022

Urgent appeal: Baby abandoned in London park ‘was just 30 minutes old with umbilical cord attached’

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The tiny baby was discovered in a shopping bag next to a park bench, in a freezing playground in Newham.

Without those who stepped in to help the baby, she would not be with us today. It was snowing heavy and it is believed the baby was just 30 minutes old and still had her umbilical cord attached when the baby was abandoned.

Police have named the newborn baby Roman, named after the street she was found in before members of the public took over and cared for the baby coming together and alerting the emergency services.

Baby Roman is believed to be doing well, but when she was found she was still purple and freezing cold, the baby could have been moments from death due to to the freezing conditions.

Roman had been left within heavy snow within a playpark, it is very lucky that someone spotted the baby after being left in freezing temperatures inside a shopping bag and wrapped in a towel.

Police say that a woman walking her dog past the play area in Newham noticed the bag when she heard a freezing cold baby crying at 10.15pm.

Georgina Player, 26, who lives around the corner from the play area in East Ham said: “The police came knocking at midnight to tell us what happened.

They said she was only 30-minutes-old when she was found – she even still had her umbilical cord.

She’s at Newham Hospital and I’m going to go there this afternoon to drop some things off for her – babygrows, milk, anything.

“I feel so bad for the little thing.

She was left in a towel and plastic bag on the ground, next to the bench – not even on it.

“The police had sniffer dogs trying to find a blood trial but they couldn’t, which makes me ask how she left in that state.

“Although it was dark, a lot of people pass through here. You have to walk past to get to the buses.

“I wish she knocked on the door for help but I think she knew someone would find the baby.”

Grandmother Rima Zvaliauskiene, 50, who found the baby, told The Sun she heard a crying noise from a Sainsbury’s bag for life

She went to investigate, thinking the noise was from an animal.

Rima said: “She was crying for her life. The baby saved herself.”

Her son Ovidijus, who lives just 100 yards away, rushed to help. He said the infant looked purple and was cold to the touch.

The 27-year-old added: “I would say it was inhumane, to do such a thing, to leave a baby like that.”

Slwek Pelka, 47, was walking his German shepherd through the play area just 15 minutes before the baby was found.

He said: “It’s crazy to think I was there just before, it was totally empty apart from a man sitting on the bench.

When the police and ambulance came, I thought maybe he had died.

“It was very cold and snowing.”

A 42-year-old mother living opposite the empty playground said: “I saw the ambulance and police arrive and paramedics running and holding a baby wrapped in a towel.

“At first I thought it was a stabbing and I was terrified. I was the only one in the house with my baby.

“They blocked off the whole area.

“It was freezing. It was snowing really heavily.

“It is really upsetting. She didn’t have to leave the baby in the snow and cold, she could have left her on my doorstep and rang the bell.”

A 72-year-old grandmother added: “My neighbour thinks the poor woman might have given birth there.

“I really feel for her. She must have been so distressed and she did the best she could.

“She will have known the playground gets busy and someone will have found her.”

Police confirmed that the baby girl is recovering in an east London hospital and her condition is now stable.

A police spokesman said: “She has been unofficially referred to as ‘Roman’ after the road where she was found, a small children’ play area on Roman Road.

“The child was discovered by a woman walking her dog with her children after she heard the child cry.

“When found they alerted the emergency services immediately. There were no other people present.

“She was found next to a park bench, not hidden. The child was discovered in a shopping bag in a white towel on the floor.”

Shane Clarke of the north east command unit said: “We are growing increasingly concerned for your welfare and I urge you to make contact either with police, your local hospital or GP surgery. It is really important that we know that you are safe.

“I would also urge anyone who has information that could help us to reunite this baby with her mother to come forward.”

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Trevor Sherwood
Trevor Sherwood
Trevor Sherwood is the editor and news reporter covering national and international news crime and policing news. Tweet your news and views to @TrevSherwoodPH

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