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Woman arrested over death of newborn baby more than 40 years ago

Police are investigating the death of a baby (Joe Giddens/PA)
Police are investigating the death of a baby (Joe Giddens/PA)

Northamptonshire Police have arrested a woman in connection with the death of a baby more than 40 years ago.

The 57-year-old, who was arrested on suspicion of murder in Northampton on Tuesday morning, was taken to a location in the county for questioning by detectives.

Her arrest is related to the discovery of the body of a newborn girl in the town in May 1982.

It is understood the baby was found strangled and wrapped in cloth near Northampton railway station.

The baby was buried in Towcester Road Cemetery in November 1982 but did not get a headstone until 2019 after a campaign by a former local vicar, according to the Northampton Chronicle & Echo.

The case was the subject of a major police investigation at the time but nobody was prosecuted and the inquiry closed in 1993.

However, new evidence surfaced in 2023 following a cold case review by Northamptonshire Police, leading to this week’s arrest.

The suspect was released on bail on Thursday afternoon pending further inquiries.

Detective Chief Inspector Johnny Campbell, from the Major Crime Team of the East Midlands Special Operations Unit (EMSOU), said: “This has been an extremely complex investigation into events that happened more than four decades ago and a great deal of work has gone in to getting us to this point.

“Dozens of officers from both Northamptonshire Police and our colleagues in the region have been involved in the operation over the past 48 hours or more and I would like to thank all of them for their work.

“This inquiry remains live and ongoing and, as such, Northamptonshire Police will be making no further comment at this time.”