Hunt for person who dumped baby next to trash gathers pace
Police are reviewing video evidence as they seek to determine the circumstances that led to the body of dead newborn baby girl being dumped next to a trash bin at the Mulifanua wharf on Saturday morning.
“We are investigating this matter," said the Commissioner of Police, Fuiavaili’ili Egon Keil, in response to questions from the Samoa Observer.
Investigations on Saturday may have yielded a critical clue to solving a case that scandalised the nation on Saturday.
Police are now reviewing CCTV footage from a camera which is understood to have been pointed towards the area in which the child's body was dumped, potentially giving investigators a critical lead.
"Our forensic unit is currently [trying] to find the parents of this newborn," the Commissioner said.
The newborn baby's umbilical cord was apparently still attached in photos that showed her lying next to refuse and which went viral on social media on Saturday afternoon.
The Commissioner condemned the posting of the gruesome photos of the dead baby on social media and said sharing photos of the scene will affect their investigation.
“I highly discourage it and it is downright unacceptable," he said.
"We as human beings should not condone these types of actions, when you come across something this disheartening, please contact the Police.
“It is inhumane to post photos of this poor infant. There is no need to post the photos on social media.”
The discovery comes just one month after another infant was found dead, this time floating on the scene at Lauli’i. No one has come forward to report that missing child and Police say they have no leads on that case.
The Commissioner said the second such occurrence of a dead and abandoned child within the span of one month has left the Police highly concerned.
“We hope that someone will come forward to claim this child, surely someone knows something and we hope to get to the bottom of this,” said Fuiavaili’ili in comments reported by the Samoa Observer this week on the Police's frustration about the earlier case.
“It’s disheartening,” Commissioner Fuiava said, this child’s parents have not come forward to claim this child is disappointing.”
The Police Commissioner said their investigation has not found anyone and the absence of any solid leads has been a challenge.
But Fuiava said that surely there must be a family who is missing a child. And he is appealing to members of the public to notify the Police if they know anything that could lead to the identification of the dead baby.
“As a parent, we are responsible to care and nurture our children. It is unfortunate in this case the baby has died. However we want to put a closure on this case.”