x Abu Dhabi, UAEWednesday 26 July 2017

Police in hunt for parents of baby abandoned in a box

Police say they are confident they will find the parents of a one-month-old girl found abandoned in a box near a mosque.

The baby girl was found wrapped in a blue cloth and left near a mosque in the Zahara area of Ajman last week. She is being treated at the city's Sheikh Khalifa Hospital while police trawl recent birth records.
The baby girl was found wrapped in a blue cloth and left near a mosque in the Zahara area of Ajman last week. She is being treated at the city's Sheikh Khalifa Hospital while police trawl recent birth records.

AJMAN // Police say they are confident they will find the parents of a one-month-old girl found abandoned in a box near a mosque. The child was discovered wrapped in a blue cloth last Wednesday morning in Ajman city's Zahara area, when a passerby heard crying. Officials at Sheikh Khalifa Hospital, where the baby is being cared for, said she was initially distressed but was otherwise in good health.

Capt Ghaith al Kaabi, the director of Humaidiya police station, said: "I believe we can find the parents. In the past, we have found many parents of abandoned babies and this time around we shall find them as well." He said among the clues they had were the fact the baby's ears were of significantly different size. They also plan to use DNA samples from the baby to match against anybody they suspect of being the parents.

"We could also analyse the cutting of the umbilical cord to determine if the birth was in hospital or at home," he added. "In the case that it was in a hospital, we shall have to take the baby's fingerprints and circulate them to all hospitals in the UAE to check their records with recent births." He stressed that help from the public would be crucial in discovering the identity of the parents. Once medical reports are complete, the case will be transferred to the Public Prosecution, he said.

Dr Mohammed Habbar, the head of paediatrics at the hospital, said: "Apart from knowing that she is a baby girl, about one month old, not much is yet known about her. We have recorded as unknown her nationality, parents and religious origins." The discovery of the girl comes as the latest in a spate of cases of children abandoned in the Northern Emirates. In February, another baby boy was found abandoned at the Ajman Corniche.

Police arrested the fugitive parents, who said they had conceived the baby out of wedlock and had abandoned him to avoid punishment under the law. The case is before the courts. If found guilty, the pair could face a minimum sentence of one year in prison and a fine of Dh10,000. The issue of abandoned babies has been more prevalent in Sharjah, where police found two babies of different parents abandoned at a mosque in the industrial area in March.

Last year, two other babies were found abandoned in Sharjah at different mosques - one at Al Sahabah mosque and another at King Faisal mosque. @Email:ykakande@thenational.ae