Baby girl found in shopping bag in East London is one of THREE siblings abandoned by same parents

Babies Harry and Roman/Greenway sign

Harry, Roman and Elsa were all found in Plaistow, East London

PA/Metropolitan Police
James Saunders

By James Saunders

Published: 04/06/2024

- 13:03

Updated: 04/06/2024

- 15:21

Baby Elsa was found deserted in a similar way to her brother Harry and sister Roman - both of whom have been adopted

A newborn baby found in East London in January this year is one of three siblings who were also found in similar circumstances over the last seven years, a court has been told.

The child, whom hospital staff had named Elsa, had been found by a dog walker in a shopping bag just off the Greenway footpath in Plaistow in freezing temperatures before being taken to hospital.

And DNA testing has since shown the girl has a brother and sister, known as Baby Harry and Baby Roman, who were found abandoned in the same area of the capital in 2017 and 2019 respectively.

The trio's parents are yet to be identified, with a Metropolitan Police investigation into their identities still ongoing.

Map of Plaistow baby locations

The three siblings were found over a span of just under seven years in East London


Officers believe a woman who was 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.

Baby Elsa was believed to be less than an hour old when she was found abandoned in a shopping bag at the junction of Greenway and High Street South in East Ham on January 18 this year.

Her sister, Baby Roman, was found in similar circumstances in a play area off Roman Road, Newham, in late January 2019, amid sub-zero temperatures and snow in London.

In September 2017, Baby Harry was found wrapped in a white blanket in Balaam Street, Plaistow.

Harry and Roman - not the pair's real names - have since been adopted.


\u200b\u200bBaby Roman

Baby Roman, as pictured in a Met Police handout

Metropolitan Police

The Metropolitan Police said it had made extensive inquiries including media appeals, analysing CCTV, going door-to-door and examining forensic evidence to try and track down the parents of the three children.

Detective Inspector Jamie Humm, who is based in Newham, said: "We understand the significant public interest that will come following the lifting of restrictions that allow this information to be reported.

"It is significant news and our work has focused on trying to locate the mother and provide support to her."

As DI Humm noted, due to court reporting restrictions, the media were barred from publishing a link between the three children - but this was overturned following an application by the PA news agency and the BBC.

Baby Harry

Baby Harry, as pictured in a Met Police handout

Metropolitan Police

Judge Carol Atkinson ruled restrictions should be lifted to allow the reporting of the relationship between the children, claiming it was in the interest of the "openness of justice".

She said: "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.

"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."

Police have urged anyone with information as to the parents' identities to contact the force using the reference CAD 6876/18 Jan.

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