Baby death mystery: police hope for DNA clues

Police in Bro, northwest of Stockholm, are investigating the death of a baby found by a footpath near the town's station. Investigators are awaiting DNA results which they could show whether the baby is related to another dead child found in the area two years ago.

A person walking a dog called the police to the scene at about 9am on Sunday, reported Östgöta Correspondenten. Following a crime scene investigation the body was taken to the Institute for Legal Medicine in Solna for the post-mortem.

Late on Wednesday police confirmed that the baby was a girl, and that she had possibly been dead for more than the two weeks police originally thought.

But police commissioner Hans Stridlund told TT on Wednesday that investigators were still evaluating the results of the post-mortem.

“It’s too early to say anything about what we’ve concluded,” he said. “We still don’t know what kind of crime we’re dealing with.”

For almost a year the police tried to find information about the death of the other baby found in the area, but the girl’s identity is still a mystery. She was buried last December in Kungsängen, north of Stockholm.

“There is still no evidence that connects both babies, but it is obviously something we will look into. It is rare to find dead infants like this,” said police spokesman Mats Nylén.

According to Aftobladet, the mother of the baby could be a prostitute and police are searching for her at care centres and psychiatric clinics. A brothel in the Stockholm area is also being looked into.

“Somewhere out there is a mother who needs help,” said Hans Strindlund, although the paper reported that the case is being treated as a murder investigation.

Investigators are especially interested in a man seen in the area about two weeks ago carrying plastic bags. A witness reported that a young man was acting strangely around the area.

Police called for the public to contact them if they were in the area two weeks – or more – ago.

“People should react to the fact that it was a full pregnancy and now the mother is not seen with a child,” said Hans Strindlund.

“If you look at similar cases, it is not unusual for the same person to repeat this kind of behaviour,” he added.

DNA analysis will reveal if both babies have the same mother. There is already a DNA profile of the first baby and with the analysis of the second baby’s mitochondrial DNA; the police will determine if they have the same mother.

But to determine whether the babies have the same father is harder since the father’s DNA profile is not available.

“We will have a preliminary result in one week,” said Marie Allen who is the legal geneticist working on the investigation.

According to Tuesday’s Expressen, the baby might have been kept in a freezer after it was killed “by the mother or someone close”, but police dismissed this as media speculation.

Sources: Svenska Dagbladet, Expressen, Corren,Aftonbladet