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Police Tell Public to Avoid ‘Unhelpful’ Comments About Newborn Found Alive Inside Shopping Bag

Baby Elsa is currently “safe and well” as the search for her mother continues, Chief Superintendent Simon Crick said Friday

File: Getty Newborn baby
File: Getty Newborn baby
  • The Metropolitan Police Department is still looking for the mother of a child who was left at an intersection in London amid sub-freezing temperatures

  • Though comments have been "largely" kind, police are asking members of the public to avoid "unhelpful" commentary surrounding the story

  • The child, nicknamed Baby Elsa, was hospitalized after she was discovered in the reusable bag on Jan. 18

Police in London are asking the public to avoid "unhelpful" commentary after a newborn was found alive in a shopping bag amid sub-freezing temperatures more than a week ago.

The baby girl was found wrapped in a towel inside the bag left at the intersection of Greenway and High Street South on Jan. 18, according to a previous news release from the Metropolitan Police Department.

A member of the public was walking their dog that Thursday when they spotted the newborn — now nicknamed Baby Elsa — “in a shopping bag” around 9:15 p.m. local time. Temperatures were around minus 3 degrees Celsius (26.6 degrees Fahrenheit) in London when the baby was found, according to Reuters and Sky News.

Comments online regarding the story “have been largely incredibly kind, supportive and understanding,” Chief Superintendent Simon Crick said in a release published Friday. However, police are unhappy with some users’ conduct on social media.

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Crick said “a small number of abusive and negative comments” have been shared online that the chief believes “are both unnecessary and unhelpful” as the search for answers continues.

“All of us are looking at this from a position of privilege in that we have no idea what Baby Elsa’s mother is going through,” the police chief explained in Friday’s news release.

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“Please consider what you post – and the possibility that she might even read it – and help us with our primary aim of identifying her to make sure that she’s OK,” he added.

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Baby Elsa is currently “safe and well” as the search for her mother continues, Crick said. Officials believe “it’s highly likely” that the child was born following “a concealed pregnancy.”

The child was hospitalized after she was found but has since been discharged, according to the police chief. Local officials will “continue to make sure she’s well looked after and cared for” in the meantime, he added.

In Friday’s news release, police revealed that a woman was seen entering The Greenway from High Street South around 8:45 p.m. local time, about 30 minutes before the baby was discovered in the reusable bag.

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Crick said police "have identified a woman we would like to speak to, and a witness who may have seen her."

"We believe the woman is Black, was wearing a large dark coat with a light coloured scarf or hood around her neck and had a rucksack on her back," he said. She is believed to have “left The Greenway heading in the direction [of] Fabian Street.”

Police are also interested in speaking with a potential witness “wearing a dark coloured hooded coat” and carrying a backpack, one of which had a reflective strip on its rear. The man left The Greenway at around 9:10 p.m., according to the police chief.

Anyone with information about the woman in question or the witness is asked to call police “immediately.” Those with information also about the child’s mother are asked to call 999 ref CAD 6876/18 Jan. 

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