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18 March 2011, 11:47
Police are searching for a mother who abandoned her new-born baby in the middle of a housing estate.
The tiny little girl - thought to be aged between just one and five days old - was left on the doorstep of a large four bedroomed home in Stotfold in Bedfordshire on Wednesday night.
The baby had been wrapped in a blanket and placed inside a plastic bag.
She was discovered when a man living at the house opened the front door to go to his garage nearby and saw the bundle on the floor. The man lives there with his wife and three year old son.
He alerted neighbours and police arrived in Kipling Crescent on the Fairfield Park Estate in Stotfold, Beds.
An ambulance was called and the baby was taken to the Lister Hospital in Stevenage. Staff gave her a nickname of Isabella Ward.
A woman neighbour, who did not want to be named, said: "I was watching TV at around nine o'clock and there was a knock at the door. It was our neighbour who had found the baby and my husband went out. When he came back inside he said the baby seemed fine and it was a good weight. It is really upsetting to think that a mother has left her child like this. She must have been desperate to leave a child on a doorstep."
Another neighbour Barbara Wyczesana, 28, who has a three year old daughter and is expecting a second child, said: "I can't understand how someone could do this. It has made me really emotional."
Another neighbour said: "The baby needs its mother. There is help out there and I would say to her that there is nothing that is that awful that she can't be helped."
The baby, believed to be of Asian parentage, was taken to the Lister Hospital in Stevenage and is now under the care of social workers from Central Bedfordshire Council.
Police were conducting house to house inquiries in the area for the mother who needs medical treatment.
Detective Inspector Jerry Waite, from the Public Protection Unit, is leading the enquiry and is keen to speak to anyone who may have information about who the mother could be.
"The baby is safe and well so our priority now is to find her mother. She must have been under great personal pressure in order to have felt she had no choice but to abandon her child. I would like to reassure her that our concern is for her wellbeing. She may need medical attention and will clearly be distressed so if she, or anyone who knows her, can tell us where she is please contact the police."
Anyone with information can call the main switchboard on 01234 841212, text to 07786 200011 or call Crime Stoppers on 0800 555 111