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Cooks River, Earlwood: Major update in urgent efforts to identify newborn born along Sydney riverbank


An umbilical cord recently found on the banks of a Sydney river belonged to a baby boy, police said.

Authorities are still searching for the baby and its mother after a dog walker found an umbilical cord and placenta near the Cooks River in Earlwood in Sydney’s west about 4.30pm on Monday.

Forensic tests confirmed that the child is a boy.

Police have not yet confirmed whether the baby was born on the river bank or elsewhere.

Authorities are still searching for a baby boy and his mother after a dog walker found an umbilical cord and placenta near the Cooks River in Earlwood.

The umbilical cord found on the banks of the Cooks River (pictured) belonged to a baby boy

The umbilical cord found on the banks of the Cooks River (pictured) belonged to a baby boy

Authorities urged the mother to attend the nearest hospital and receive urgent care for herself and her son, a sentiment strongly echoed by NSW Health Minister Ryan Park.

«My heart absolutely goes out to this mother and her little child,» he said Tuesday.

«I want to make it very clear to her if she’s listening, or if her friends and family who are no doubt distressed or listening: You’re not in trouble.»

“You don’t have to talk to the police. The only thing I ask is that you get to one of our hospitals so that we can take care of you and your baby as quickly as possible.”

Detective Chief Superintendent Christine McDonald acknowledged that childbirth can be a «traumatic» and «painful» time for many people.

«I am deeply concerned for the mother’s safety and mental health,» she said.

Police divers are seen searching the mangroves at the water's edge

Police divers are seen searching the mangroves at the water’s edge

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A sniffer dog and his handler are spotted on the banks of the Cooks River on Tuesday

A sniffer dog and his handler are spotted on the banks of the Cooks River on Tuesday

«I need to know she’s safe and I need to know she’s getting the support she needs right now.»

She urged any homes or businesses in Earlwood with CCTV footage of a pregnant woman in distress to contact Burwood Police or Crime Stoppers.

It comes as the dog walker who discovered the placenta and umbilical cord detailed the moment he spotted the organs on a muddy riverbank.

«He was just sitting on the mud, the water was quite far away,» he said.

«(I’ve) seen three births, so you kind of know what you’re looking at. I couldn’t think of what else it could be. It looked human-sized.

“My wife took a picture of it and we called the police.

Police found no evidence to suggest the child was injured.



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