The final resting place of an unidentified baby found dead in a recycling yard after being dumped in a bin has been marked with a teddy bear-shaped headstone.
The girl, named only as Baby S, was less than a day old when her body was discovered on May 14, 2020 at the Sackers rubbish dump in Needham Market, Suffolk.
Tests revealed that she may have been suffocated before she died.
Baby S was buried in a small white coffin on February 17 this year in a simple funeral ceremony, organized largely by Sackers, at Ipswich Millennium Cemetery.
Sackers provided the headstone after the soil around the grave had been allowed to settle.
The stone says: ‘Baby S sleeps here. So little, so sweet, so soon, sleep little one, sleep.’
Baby S was buried in a small white coffin on February 17 this year in a simple funeral ceremony.
The unidentified newborn’s stone reads: ‘Baby S sleeps here. So little, so sweet, so soon, sleep little one, sleep.’
The moving funeral was attended by 15 mourners, including police officers, council officials and Sackers staff.
Some wiped away tears as her coffin was carried to her grave with a single white rose on top in the children’s section of the cemetery.
The waste management company said in a Facebook post: “The terrible news of finding Baby S on May 14, 2020 at our recycling site reached thousands of people around the world and has touched many of our supporters. since we first met her.”
“After months of letting her graveyard settle, her teddy bear’s headstone has now been placed so she will never be forgotten.”
A spokesperson for the firm added: “It was never in question that Baby S’s short life needed to be marked and remembered, and it was never in question that it was our responsibility to make sure that happened.”
“We wanted to make sure that those who wanted to pay their respects could do so, as her very sad story affected so many.”
Baby S’s body was discovered in Sackers at the height of the first lockdown as staff were sorting waste onto a conveyor belt.
The funeral of the unidentified girl was attended by 15 mourners, including police officers, council officials and staff from the Sackers rubbish dump.
Police believe it was dumped in a bin at one of 54 commercial sites in the Ipswich area that had waste collected and brought to the center earlier that day by two Sackers trucks.
An inquest in June this year heard how Baby S’s mother has never been tracked down, despite extensive police calls for her to come forward.
An autopsy by Home Office pathologist Dr Virginia Fitzpatrick-Swallow found that Baby S had “numerous serious injuries” caused by her body going through the waste recycling process after her death.
The examination also revealed that she had head injuries that were consistent with a traumatic birth.
But further tests by consultant neuropathologist Prof. Safa Al-Sarraj could not rule out that some injuries were caused by “shaking trauma” or “asphyxia”.
He suggested that some bruising on her body, particularly around her face and neck, was “not typical of birth trauma”, saying she may have suffocated, the inquest heard.
Senior Coroner Nigel Parsley recorded an open conclusion at Suffolk Coroner’s Court in Ipswich after hearing how the cause of death was undetermined brain injury.
The girl was found on May 14, 2020 at the Sackers rubbish dump in Needham Market, Suffolk. A teddy bear headstone has been placed to mark the baby’s death.
Parsley said the traumatic brain injury could have been “birth-related trauma or inflicted or accidental trauma.”
He added: ‘Exactly when and how this injury occurred could not be determined from the available evidence.
“We simply cannot say how Baby S came to her death and how she received the injuries that led to her death.” I will have to record an open conclusion.
Detective Chief Inspector Karl Nightingale, the lead investigator on the case, said Baby S had inflated lungs, indicating she was born alive.
He told the audience that she had ‘one day at the most’. Mr Nightingale added: “Pathology was significantly hampered by injuries caused by waste processing.”
But he said there were some injuries that “were not caused by the waste recycling process.”
It added: “There was a potential for suffocation and inflicted injuries, and tremor was mentioned, but Dr Fitzpatrick-Swallow was unable to say what mechanism caused her death.”
‘It could be multiple mechanisms. You cannot say what is most likely or least likely.
Suffolk Police believe the girl found in the debris was no more than 48 hours old.
Nightingale said it had been impossible to identify the bin Baby S was dumped in, who was of mixed ethnicity or mixed race.
Officers viewed more than 11,000 hours of CCTV footage and visited 800 homes and businesses around the potential sites in their search for clues, but found no evidence.
Mr Nightingale said: “We are no closer to identifying how it entered the waste processing system.” We have to keep an open mind as to how Baby S sustained those injuries.
Police previously confirmed that they had been trying to use DNA from Baby S’s body to try to identify her.
Speaking after the inquest, Nightingale said he remained “optimistic” that police would one day “put the final pieces of the puzzle together” and find out what had happened to him.
Celebrant Patrick Eade spoke movingly at Baby S’s graveside at her funeral, likening her to a non-blooming ‘rosebud’ as she addressed mourners.
He said: ‘Baby S, you will never be forgotten. May the light of love shine on you and those who care for you, and may you reach the end of your path with sweetness and joy.
‘Your memory remains in our hearts, and as long as we remember you, you will continue to live. With love and respect, we lay you down to rest. Go your way in peace.
He also read a poem that began with the words: ‘The world may never notice if a rosebud fails to bloom, or even stop to wonder if the petals fall too soon.
Baby S was buried in a small white coffin on February 17 this year in a simple funeral ceremony, organized largely by Sackers, at Ipswich’s Millennium Cemetery.
‘But every life that is ever formed, or ever comes to be, touches the world in some small way for all eternity.’
Earlier, Eade spoke about the baby’s unknown family at a private funeral, saying he had died “under the most tragic of circumstances.”
He said: ‘It’s hard to imagine what Baby S’s family members are experiencing. Moving on is leaving something behind, forgetting it and never looking back. ‘Continue’ is to always carry it with you and never forget.
‘A bereaved parent will never move on, but will ‘carry on’. If a message could reach Baby S’s family, I imagine it would be: ‘Please tell me what I can do to help.’
Mr Eade also praised the police and Sackers staff, saying: “Every one of you has played a part in ‘doing the right thing’, as you have tried to put the pieces of this tragic puzzle together and ensure that Baby S will be put to rest.” . in a dignified way, never forgotten, and provide help to those in need.’
He added: “We’ll think of you often as the days go by, wondering why your life wasn’t meant to last.”
‘The question we all ask an imagined sky, how can this be and always asking why.’
The ceremony included a performance of Israel Kamakawiwo’ole’s ‘Somewhere over the rainbow’ and The Beatles’ ‘The Long and Winding Road’.
Suffolk Police are still urging Baby S’s mother or anyone who may have information on her to come forward.
Anyone with information is asked to contact Suffolk Police.