Fears are being raised in the search for Sydney mother and newborn after grim discovery along Cooks River, Earlwood

  • A search was launched after «birthmarks» were found on the river bank.
  • Police are responding to concerns that a newborn may be in the water

A frantic search continues for a mother and newborn after «signs of birth» were discovered on a riverbank as police responded to fears the baby may be in the water.

A search was launched for the mother and baby after a passer-by walking a dog spotted the placenta and umbilical cord on the banks of the Cook River at Earlwood in Sydney’s south-west about 4.30pm on Monday.

«Evidence of Birth» was later confirmed as human by the police.

Search teams, boats and divers returned to the river at first light on Tuesday after an extensive overnight search of the area.

When asked if police were concerned the child might be in the water, Detective Senior Constable Christine McDonald said the police’s main concern was the whereabouts of the mother and child.

«At this stage our main concern is the whereabouts of the mother and child, we see it as a matter of real urgency to find her and her child, hopefully safe and sound,» she said at a press conference on Monday evening.

Emergency services were called to the Cooks River near Wardell Road, Earlwood, at around 4.30pm on Monday after «evidence of a birth» was found.

A placenta and umbilical cord found on the riverbank were confirmed by police to be human

A placenta and umbilical cord found on the riverbank were confirmed by police to be human

Superintendent McDonald said it remained unclear whether the baby was born on the banks of the Cook River or elsewhere.

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«We only know that the placenta and the umbilical cord were found. Obviously, our investigation will reveal what happened,» she said.

«Whether the labor or delivery of this child occurred at this location or another location remains to be determined.»

NSW Police urged the mother and child to attend hospital and said they did not have to speak to police if they did not want to.

More to come.

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