Murder probe launched into death of newborn baby boy who was found dead in a canal

The death of a baby boy found dumped in a West Midlands canal is now being treated as murder by detectives as Crimestoppers offer a £5,000 reward for information.  

The Crimestoppers charity said it was offering the reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction of anyone responsible for offences linked to the baby boy’s death.

Police are still attempting to trace the mother of the infant, whose body was found on May 20, amid concerns for her welfare.

The force have previous said that the post-mortem confirmed the baby had died in child birth or in the hours immediately after he was born.

Officers have previously said the full-term baby was ‘probably not alive’ when he was put into the Wyrley and Essington Canal in Rough Wood country park, in Walsall, and may have been in the water for up to four days before being discovered.

The death of a baby boy who was found in canal in Walsall (pictured) is now being treated as murder and Crimestoppers are offering a £5,000 reward to anyone with information

The death of a baby boy who was found in canal in Walsall (pictured) is now being treated as murder and Crimestoppers are offering a £5,000 reward to anyone with information

The death of a baby boy who was found in canal in Walsall (pictured) is now being treated as murder and Crimestoppers are offering a £5,000 reward to anyone with information 

Floral tributes left near Rough Wood country park in Walsall said 'I know you're in heaven'

Floral tributes left near Rough Wood country park in Walsall said 'I know you're in heaven'

Floral tributes left near Rough Wood country park in Walsall said ‘I know you’re in heaven’

A passer-by discovered the baby at around 1pm in a stretch of canal off Hunts Lane.

Mick Duthie, director of operations at Crimestoppers, said: ‘This is a particularly sad, tragic case and shocking for the community, so we are keen to have answers as to what happened and who was involved.

‘We are urging anyone who may know something to contact our charity anonymously as soon as possible.

‘There is concern also for the well-being of the baby’s mother.

‘Investigators, who have asked our charity to put up this reward, believe that someone may know or suspect who the mother is.

‘We hope that our reward for information given anonymously will help prompt someone’s conscience to speak up and tell us what they know.’

Officers speak to a passer-by about an incident that occurred in Rough Wood country park in Walsall, where a dead newborn baby boy was found in the local canal

Officers speak to a passer-by about an incident that occurred in Rough Wood country park in Walsall, where a dead newborn baby boy was found in the local canal

Officers speak to a passer-by about an incident that occurred in Rough Wood country park in Walsall, where a dead newborn baby boy was found in the local canal

Mr Duthie added: ‘Everyone who contacts Crimestoppers stays 100% anonymous. Always. We have kept this promise for over 32 years.

‘When you call our UK Contact Centre on freephone 0800 555 111, which is open 24/7, or use our simple, secure and anonymous online form at www.crimestoppers-uk.org to give information, nobody will know you contacted us, only you.’

A week after the grim discovery, a makeshift memorial had been created on a nearby canal footbridge.

There were handful of teddy bears in plastic bags, keeping them dry placed alongside bunches of flowers. 

Details of a leaflet explaining the incident that occurred in Rough Wood country park in Walsall, where a dead newborn baby boy was found in the local canal

Details of a leaflet explaining the incident that occurred in Rough Wood country park in Walsall, where a dead newborn baby boy was found in the local canal

Details of a leaflet explaining the incident that occurred in Rough Wood country park in Walsall, where a dead newborn baby boy was found in the local canal

Officers have said they are keen to get the child’s mother medical assistance, and get answers as to how the baby ended up the water.

Detectives are also trying to prick people’s consciences, appealing to those who may know the mother or what has happened to speak to police in confidence.

The child was left in a secluded spot with the towpath leading away from the scene in both directions, making the investigation more complex.

The reserve, bisected by the Wyrley and Essington Canal, is criss-crossed with footpaths leading to nearby residential roads and estates, making it potentially ‘very difficult’ to piece together people’s movements, police said. 

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