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
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Day In a Page

General Election 2015: Chuka Umunna on the benefits of immigration, humility – and his leader Ed Miliband

Chuka Umunna: A virus of racism runs through Ukip

The shadow business secretary on the benefits of immigration, humility – and his leader Ed Miliband
Yemen crisis: This exotic war will soon become Europe's problem

Yemen's exotic war will soon affect Europe

Terrorism and boatloads of desperate migrants will be the outcome of the Saudi air campaign, says Patrick Cockburn
Marginal Streets project aims to document voters in the run-up to the General Election

Marginal Streets project documents voters

Independent photographers Joseph Fox and Orlando Gili are uploading two portraits of constituents to their website for each day of the campaign
Game of Thrones: Visit the real-life kingdom of Westeros to see where violent history ends and telly tourism begins

The real-life kingdom of Westeros

Is there something a little uncomfortable about Game of Thrones shooting in Northern Ireland?
How to survive a social-media mauling, by the tough women of Twitter

How to survive a Twitter mauling

Mary Beard, Caroline Criado-Perez, Louise Mensch, Bunny La Roche and Courtney Barrasford reveal how to trounce the trolls
Gallipoli centenary: At dawn, the young remember the young who perished in one of the First World War's bloodiest battles

At dawn, the young remember the young

A century ago, soldiers of the Empire – many no more than boys – spilt on to Gallipoli’s beaches. On this 100th Anzac Day, there are personal, poetic tributes to their sacrifice
Dissent is slowly building against the billions spent on presidential campaigns – even among politicians themselves

Follow the money as never before

Dissent is slowly building against the billions spent on presidential campaigns – even among politicians themselves, reports Rupert Cornwell
Samuel West interview: The actor and director on austerity, unionisation, and not mentioning his famous parents

Samuel West interview

The actor and director on austerity, unionisation, and not mentioning his famous parents
General Election 2015: Imagine if the leading political parties were fashion labels

Imagine if the leading political parties were fashion labels

Fashion editor, Alexander Fury, on what the leaders' appearances tell us about them
Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka: Home can be the unsafest place for women

Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka: Home can be the unsafest place for women

The architect of the HeForShe movement and head of UN Women on the world's failure to combat domestic violence
Public relations as 'art'? Surely not

Confessions of a former PR man

The 'art' of public relations is being celebrated by the V&A museum, triggering some happy memories for DJ Taylor
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef succumbs to his sugar cravings with super-luxurious sweet treats

Bill Granger's luxurious sweet treats

Our chef loves to stop for 30 minutes to catch up on the day's gossip, while nibbling on something sweet
London Marathon 2015: Paula Radcliffe and the mother of all goodbyes

The mother of all goodbyes

Paula Radcliffe's farewell to the London Marathon will be a family affair
Everton vs Manchester United: Steven Naismith demands 'better' if Toffees are to upset the odds against United

Steven Naismith: 'We know we must do better'

The Everton forward explains the reasons behind club's decline this season
Arsenal vs Chelsea: Praise to Arsene Wenger for having the courage of his convictions

Michael Calvin's Last Word

Praise to Wenger for having the courage of his convictions