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Parents of newborn baby found dead in woods with ribs missing arrested

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A man and woman have been arrested on suspicion of the murder of a baby girl found dead in woodland.

The 48-year-old man and woman aged 33 are believed to be the parents of the newborn, who was discovered in April.

They are also being held on suspicion of concealing a birth and preventing a lawful burial.

'Parents' of newborn baby found dead in woods with ribs missing arrested

Pearl, which means precious, was found at 7am by a dog walker, close to the River Roch, near Back oth Moss estate. (Picture: MEN)

Pearl, who was named by officers, was found naked with two ribs missing – believed to be a birth defect – at a Heywood beauty spot in Rochdale on April 4.

But police did not know if the defect had contributed either to her death or her being abandoned.

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Speaking today, a GMP spokesman said: In the past three months officers have been following extensive enquiries including DNA analysis to find out exactly what happened to Pearl.

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Today, Wednesday 25 July 2018, a 48-year-old man and a 33-year-old woman, have been arrested on suspicion of murder, concealing a birth and preventing a lawful burial.

They remain in custody for questioning and enquiries are ongoing.

The mother of Pearl, the newborn baby found abandoned in woodland may have been a rape or incest victim, police say. Her umbilical cord was still attached with signs it had been ?severed roughly?. caption: The scene where the body of a baby girl was found in a field off Pitt Lane, Heywood

Pearl, who was named by officers, was found naked with two ribs missing – believed to be a birth defect – at a Heywood beauty spot in Rochdale on April 4. (Picture: MEN)

Detective Superintendent Lewis Hughes, who headed up the Major Incident Team investigation, said: This continues to be an incredibly heart-breaking case for everyone involved – from the detectives working painstaking hours to find those responsible to members of the public that have felt the loss of Pearl.

While we have two people in custody, our investigation is still very much ongoing and I would continue to urge anyone with even the smallest piece of information – no matter how insignificant it may seem – to please get in touch.

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Were committed to finding the truth for this little girl and truly believe the public could hold the key to this tragic case.

Pearl, which means precious, was found at 7am by a dog walker, close to the River Roch, near Back oth Moss estate.

Her DNA was checked with national databases, which threw up thousands of potential matches.

However, the matches only included samples from people convicted of crimes or who have come into contact with the police.

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Pearl is believed to be white but ethnicity testing suggests there may have been a mixed racial heritage in Pearls family.

Anyone with information is asked to contact police on 0161 856 4810 or 07387 705 768 quoting incident number 368 of 04/04/18, or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.

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