Seven-month-old Charlene Turvey was found dead hours after being snatched from her buggy by a man who shot her mother, Marina, at close range. The girl's body was found at East Hyde on the border of Hertfordshire and Bedfordshire close to the van she had been bundled into by the gunman. She had died from gunshot wounds.
Police last night named the man they wanted to interview as David John Edwards, 21, from Luton. A spokesman said: 'We believe that he is on foot, armed and very dangerous.' Mr Edwards is believed to be the woman's former lover and Charlene's father. He was described as 5ft 10ins tall, with blue eyes and brown collar-length hair and a pierced left ear.
Mrs Turvey was walking along Milton Road with Charlene and her husband, John, 24, when the man leapt from a white van and seized the baby. He threw her into the back of the van and then fired a shotgun twice at Mrs Turvey as she cowered on the pavement. He then drove off with the baby at high speed, leaving her mother dying in a pool of blood.
Witnesses said Mr Turvey, who had been walking in front of her, came running down the road screaming 'He has taken my baby'.
A neighbour of the Turveys said: 'David disowned Marina at the time of the pregnancy. John took over the responsibility and was even present at the birth. But in recent months, since they married, Marina has been terrified that David would take the child away.'
Last night police were scouring the area around East Hyde.
Milton Road is quiet side street of private houses. One resident, Alison Bull, said: 'We are all very shocked in the street. I can't believe this could happen here.'
Anne Jones, a neighbour, arrived home an hour after the shooting to find her home 'swarming with police and ambulance people'.
'As I got closer I could see the pavement was covered in blood. I saw the legs of the victim sticking out of the body bag. My main concern was to keep my two young sons well away from the scene. It was a horrific sight.'