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
News
news
Arts and Entertainment
British author Helen Macdonald, pictured with Costa book of the year, 'H is for Hawk'
booksPanel hail Helen Macdonald's 'brilliantly written, muscular prose' in memoir of a grief-stricken daughter who became obsessed with training a goshawk
Sport
footballLive blog: Follow the action from the Capital One Cup semi-final
Life and Style
food + drink
ebooks
ebooksA year of political gossip, levity and intrigue from the sharpest pen in Westminster
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Day In a Page

Greece elections: In times like these, the EU has far more dangerous adversaries than Syriza

Greece elections

In times like these, the EU has far more dangerous adversaries than Syriza, says Patrick Cockburn
Holocaust Memorial Day: Nazi victims remembered as spectre of prejudice reappears

Holocaust Memorial Day

Nazi victims remembered as spectre of prejudice reappears over Europe
Homeless Veterans appeal: Homeless in Wales can find inspiration from Daniel’s story

Homeless Veterans appeal

Homeless in Wales can find inspiration from Daniel’s story
Front National family feud? Marine Le Pen and her relatives clash over French far-right party's response to Paris terror attacks

Front National family feud?

Marine Le Pen and her relatives clash over French far-right party's response to Paris terror attacks
Woman who was sent to three Nazi death camps describes how she escaped the gas chamber

Auschwitz liberation 70th anniversary

Woman sent to three Nazi death camps describes surviving gas chamber
DSK, Dodo the Pimp, and the Carlton Hotel

The inside track on France's trial of the year

Dominique Strauss-Kahn, Dodo the Pimp, and the Carlton Hotel:
As provocative now as they ever were

Sarah Kane season

Why her plays are as provocative now as when they were written
Murder of Japanese hostage has grim echoes of a killing in Iraq 11 years ago

Murder of Japanese hostage has grim echoes of another killing

Japanese mood was against what was seen as irresponsible trips to a vicious war zone
Syria crisis: Celebrities call on David Cameron to take more refugees as one young mother tells of torture by Assad regime

Celebrities call on David Cameron to take more Syrian refugees

One young mother tells of torture by Assad regime
The enemy within: People who hear voices in their heads are being encouraged to talk back – with promising results

The enemy within

People who hear voices in their heads are being encouraged to talk back
'In Auschwitz you got used to anything'

'In Auschwitz you got used to anything'

Survivors of the Nazi concentration camp remember its horror, 70 years on
Autumn/winter menswear 2015: The uniforms that make up modern life come to the fore

Autumn/winter menswear 2015

The uniforms that make up modern life come to the fore
'I'm gay, and plan to fight military homophobia'

'I'm gay, and plan to fight military homophobia'

Army general planning to come out
Iraq invasion 2003: The bloody warnings six wise men gave to Tony Blair as he prepared to launch poorly planned campaign

What the six wise men told Tony Blair

Months before the invasion of Iraq in 2003, experts sought to warn the PM about his plans. Here, four of them recall that day
25 years of The Independent on Sunday: The stories, the writers and the changes over the last quarter of a century

25 years of The Independent on Sunday

The stories, the writers and the changes over the last quarter of a century