Police name toddler found dead in Oxfordshire house as international search for her mother gets underway

The body of the child was found at a house in Bicester after police received a report from a family member who was worried about her welfare

A toddler found dead at a house yesterday has been identified as 20-month-old Sarah Dahane, police said today.

An international search is underway for her mother who police believe has left the UK and travelled to Kenya.

The body of the child was found at a house in Bicester after police received a report from a family member who was worried about her welfare.

Thames Valley Police said they want to speak to the mother of the child and that she is thought to have left the UK.

Police have now formally identified the child and are treating her death as 'unexplained'.

Further tests will be carried out in the coming days.

Senior investigating officer Detective Chief Inspector Ian Hunter said: "Whilst the circumstances of Sarah's death remain unexplained, we are carrying out a detailed and thorough investigation to establish exactly how and why she died.

"We are supporting Sarah's father, who is separated from her mother, with dedicated family liaison officers.

"From information available to us at this time, it would appear Sarah's mother has left the UK at some stage during Wednesday evening. She is believed to have travelled to Kenya. Her exact whereabouts are unknown and we are working with other authorities to establish her exact location.

"While we are working with those individuals and authorities that were in contact with both Sarah and her mother prior to her death, we urgently wish to speak to Sarah's mother to better understand exactly what has happened. We strongly urge her to present herself to the authorities."

Officers were called to the address in Herald Way, Glory Farm, at around 10am yesterday after a member of Sarah's family contacted police with concerns.

Superintendent Colin Paine, Local Policing Area Commander for Cherwell and West Oxfordshire, said: "Incidents such as these are very sad, but isolated and rare.

"We continue to have neighbourhood patrols in the area addressing any community concerns."

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
ebooks
ebooksA special investigation by Andy McSmith
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Day In a Page

Homeless Veterans campaign: Donations hit record-breaking £1m target after £300,000 gift from Lloyds Bank

Homeless Veterans campaign

Donations hit record-breaking £1m target after huge gift from Lloyds Bank
Flight MH370 a year on: Lost without a trace – but the search goes on

Lost without a trace

But, a year on, the search continues for Flight MH370
Germany's spymasters left red-faced after thieves break into brand new secret service HQ and steal taps

Germany's spy HQ springs a leak

Thieves break into new €1.5bn complex... to steal taps
International Women's Day 2015: Celebrating the whirlwind wit of Simone de Beauvoir

Whirlwind wit of Simone de Beauvoir

Simone de Beauvoir's seminal feminist polemic, 'The Second Sex', has been published in short-form for International Women's Day
Mark Zuckerberg’s hiring policy might suit him – but it wouldn’t work for me

Mark Zuckerberg’s hiring policy might suit him – but it wouldn’t work for me

Why would I want to employ someone I’d be happy to have as my boss, asks Simon Kelner
Confessions of a planespotter: With three Britons under arrest in the UAE, the perils have never been more apparent

Confessions of a planespotter

With three Britons under arrest in the UAE, the perils have never been more apparent. Sam Masters explains the appeal
Russia's gulag museum 'makes no mention' of Stalin's atrocities

Russia's gulag museum

Ministry of Culture-run site 'makes no mention' of Stalin's atrocities
The big fresh food con: Alarming truth behind the chocolate muffin that won't decay

The big fresh food con

Joanna Blythman reveals the alarming truth behind the chocolate muffin that won't decay
Virginia Ironside was my landlady: What is it like to live with an agony aunt on call 24/7?

Virginia Ironside was my landlady

Tim Willis reveals what it's like to live with an agony aunt on call 24/7
Paris Fashion Week 2015: The wit and wisdom of Manish Arora's exercise in high camp

Paris Fashion Week 2015

The wit and wisdom of Manish Arora's exercise in high camp
8 best workout DVDs

8 best workout DVDs

If your 'New Year new you' regime hasn’t lasted beyond February, why not try working out from home?
Paul Scholes column: I don't believe Jonny Evans was spitting at Papiss Cissé. It was a reflex. But what the Newcastle striker did next was horrible

Paul Scholes column

I don't believe Evans was spitting at Cissé. It was a reflex. But what the Newcastle striker did next was horrible
Miguel Layun interview: From the Azteca to Vicarage Road with a million followers

From the Azteca to Vicarage Road with a million followers

Miguel Layun is a star in Mexico where he was criticised for leaving to join Watford. But he says he sees the bigger picture
Frank Warren column: Amir Khan ready to meet winner of Floyd Mayweather v Manny Pacquiao

Khan ready to meet winner of Mayweather v Pacquiao

The Bolton fighter is unlikely to take on Kell Brook with two superstar opponents on the horizon, says Frank Warren
War with Isis: Iraq's government fights to win back Tikrit from militants - but then what?

Baghdad fights to win back Tikrit from Isis – but then what?

Patrick Cockburn reports from Kirkuk on a conflict which sectarianism has made intractable