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Police make direct appeal to mother of newborn recovered from river

The days-old infant was discovered in the River Taff in Cardiff yesterday evening
The days-old infant was discovered in the River Taff in Cardiff yesterday evening

Police have made a direct appeal to the mother whose baby was found dead in a river.

The infant was discovered in the River Taff in Cardiff yesterday evening - and detectives believe he was only days old.

Detective Inspector Gareth Morgan said the main focus remained on tracking down the baby's mother in order to get her the help she needs.

Addressing her directly, he said: "I understand that you would have been through a traumatic time and I can reassure you that we have professionals in place with specialist skills who can provide you with support."

Mr Morgan also urged anyone with any information to come forward - saying time is of the essence.

"Somewhere in the local community there is a female who may be struggling with the after effects of the birth and subsequent death of their son," he added.

"The mother of the child may have also confided in a friend or relative and I again urge you to come forward."

South Wales Police also said they wanted to speak to people who "frequent the Taff Mead Embankment" and those who use the river and ask whether they had seen anything "out of the ordinary" since last Sunday.

Acting Superintendent Jim Hall said house-to-house inquiries were continuing and additional patrols were being laid on to provide local residents with a point of contact if they needed to speak to officers.

He added: "I also want to appeal to anyone who regularly uses the River Taff in Cardiff or further upstream to cast their minds back over the past few days to any incident which may have seemed innocuous at the time, but now appears relevant."

A section of the riverbank was sealed off yesterday with a police helicopter, dogs, firefighters and forensic investigators at the scene.

The tragedy has shocked city centre residents as well as workers.

Call centre worker Alun Willis, 26, said he was cycling home from the office when he saw swarms of police officers.

He said: "Hearing later on the news that a baby had been found in the water was a shock.

"It is so horrendous."

And Jackie Clifton, who lives nearby, said: "I walk that way along the river quite often. To think a baby has been found in the rive r... It's just so sad.

"I hope the mother is OK and they find her quickly."

Anyone with any information is asked to contact South Wales Police on 101, or Crimestoppers on 0800 555111 quoting reference 1500224381.