Police continue to appeal to the public more than three weeks after the discovery of a human placenta in Southampton
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We are continuing our appeal for the public’s help, more than three weeks since the discovery of a human placenta which was found in the Holly Brook Park area of Southampton on the morning of Wednesday 21 June.
Specially trained officers from dedicated departments across Hampshire Constabulary have been working around the clock in order to identify the mother and baby who may well need medical care and assistance.
Our enquiries have included, but are not limited to, extensive CCTV scoping in the area, house to house visits, DNA testing and following up information called into us by the public.
As part of our ongoing enquiries, we have previously arrested a 30-year-old woman from Southampton on suspicion of concealing the birth of a child. She has been released with no further action being taken.
Southampton Chief Inspector Marcus Kennedy said: “While we as the police deal with crime, this is not the only thing that we investigate and we are highly trained to deal with unusual, sensitive and difficult situations. We do not know the full circumstances of what has happened here, but we currently believe that either a woman has given birth safely and she and her baby are both healthy and well, or that a woman has given birth in difficult circumstances and may need support and medical care.
“We are keeping a really open mind and recognise that there may be factors outside of the control of the mother which may be preventing her from coming forward. Whatever has happened, the public’s help is crucial and we need to hear from anyone with information so that we can understand what has taken place. We know that this discovery is unusual and that local residents will be concerned for the person involved and her baby.
“We also know that people will have been concerned to hear that a woman has previously been arrested in connection with this incident, however this was necessary and proportionate in order to help us gain vital information to be able to progress our enquiries, and to ensure the safety and wellbeing of the individuals involved. This was just one of many lines of enquiry and we have now released the woman with no further action to be taken. Our absolute priority remains ensuring the welfare of the people involved and to understand what has happened.
“If you are the mother involved then we want to appeal to you to please make yourself known to a support agency – this does not need to be police, you could visit a doctor’s surgery, a hospital or a walk-in centre. I would like to thank members of the local community for all their support so far.”
Officers are returning to houses in the area where residents were not at home when they originally visited. If this includes you, you will have received a card through your door to say that police have been to your address. No matter how small or insignificant it might seem, if you think you know something that could assist our enquiries, please do not wait to be revisited. Get in touch as soon as possible, particularly if you have Ring Doorbell or CCTV footage from the area in the days leading up to the discovery.
Anyone with information can call 101, quoting Operation Holdo or the reference number 44230246419.