Newborn baby boy found dead in a canal may have been in the water for up to four days

A NEWBORN baby boy found dead in a canal yesterday may have been in the water for four days, cops say.

Horror unfolded at a West Mids country park yesterday when a passer-by spotted the tiny tot's body floating in the water.

And now police investigating the little one's death say they believe he was dumped at Rough Wood Country Park in Willenhall days before.

The youngster is believed to have been born at full-term. He was pulled from Essington Canal, but paramedics pronounced him dead at the scene.

West Midlands Police have today urged the boy's mother to come forward – and said she remains their "primary concern".

It's feared the mum may be in desperate need of medical assistance.

And 'heartbroken' detectives have called for anyone who might suspect they know who the woman is to get in touch.

A forensic post-mortem will take place next week to help determine the baby's cause of death.

Detective Chief Inspector Jim Munro said: "This discovery is simply tragic.

"The death of this baby is absolutely heartbreaking.

"Our priority at this time is finding the little boy's mother.

"We're also working with partners in health, social care and education to see if they can help us identify his mother.

"I realise how distressing this tragedy is for the local community, but please don't speculate on the circumstances of this upsetting incident, it hinders our investigation and is painful for those involved.

"We are appealing for the mum of that little boy to come forward and speak with us.

"We have grave concerns for her health and her wellbeing and that is our priority at this time.

"Likewise, to any family or anyone who has concerns over somebody who has recently been pregnant – we would ask for them to come forward with information which will be treated in the strictest confidence.

"Also we're directly appealing to people who use the canal, whether that be through boating or through people who walk the area on a regular basis, we believe this area is frequented by a lot of people.

"So we would ask people to cast their minds back. Have they seen anything suspicious while out walking in that area?

"I would ask them to come forward to allow us to get the mum the medial support she needs and enable us to understand how that little boy has tragically died."

Chief Superintendent Andy Parsons, from Walsall Police, added: "I'm shocked and saddened about this deeply tragic discovery.

"My thoughts are with him and the wider community who I know are upset and concerned about the nature of what happened.

"We've got local officers in the area offering reassurance. Please do speak to them if you have any concerns."

A witness told how emergency services arrived shortly after 1pm yesterday.

They said: “The nature reserve is cordoned off at pretty much every entrance. People walking up the towpath have been stopped and told to go back.

“Search teams arrived with wetsuits and there was a police officer carrying a drone.

“It’s just so tragic.”

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