Baby found dumped in the park has the same parents as two other babies abandoned years earlier

Wednesday, June 5, 2024 - Three newborn babies found abandoned in east London over the past seven years all have the same parents, it can now be reported.

The youngest of the trio, Baby Elsa, was thought to be less than an hour old when she was found in a shopping bag, by a dog walker in freezing temperatures in Newham on the night of January 18, 2024.

DNA tests have since shown she has a brother and sister, known as Baby Harry and Baby Roman, who were found abandoned in similar circumstances in the same area of the capital in 2017 and 2019.

Baby Roman was also found in freezing temperatures just under five years earlier.

Police were called to a park area close to Roman Road and Saxon Road in East Ham at around 10.15pm on January 30, 2019.

The force said at the time that the baby was found wrapped in a white towel which was put in a shopping bag and then placed on the ground next to a bench in the small children’s playpark. No attempt had been made to hide her.

She was found by a dog walker, Rima Zvaliauskas, who told the BBC in 2019 that she was ‘shocked and stressed’ by the discovery after hearing a noise coming from a bag.

Roman – not her real name – has since been adopted.

Baby Harry was found wrapped in a white blanket and abandoned in a park on September 17, 2017.

The boy, named Harry by medical staff, was discovered in an area off Balaam Street in Plaistow, east London.

Harry – not his real name – was cared for at a hospital before being discharged and has since been adopted.

The infants’ parents have not yet been identified, despite appeals from Scotland Yard, and a judge has now given special permission for the familial link between the children to be reported.

Detectives believe a woman seen in the area just before Elsa was found may have vital information.

She was wearing a large dark-coloured coat with a light-coloured scarf or hood around her neck, and was carrying a rucksack.

Sitting at the East London Family Court, Judge Carol Atkinson said lifting reporting restrictions in that way was of "great public interest" and may help in identifying the biological parents.

She said: "There is a clear public interest in reporting this story.

"The abandonment of a baby in this country is a very, very unusual event and there are years where there are no children abandoned, and because of that it is the story of the abandoning of a child that is of public interest."

She continued: "It is for the same reason, in our current society, of enormous interest and importance that people know that there is a mother and father out there who felt the need to relinquish their children in this way, three times, and that is of considerable interest, it seems to me.

"If I restrict these rights and the reporting of that story, I think that does impact on public consciousness of these sorts of matters. It restricts the openness of justice."

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