Woman held in baby murder investigation

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A woman was arrested today on suspicion of murder following the discovery of a baby in a garden, police said.

The body of baby Aliyah was found wrapped in a shawl in a garden in Tinline Street, Bury, Greater Manchester, on September 6.

A 25-year-old woman was arrested on suspicion of murder at 8am this morning, police said.

She has been assessed by a doctor and declared fit to be interviewed, and remains in custody, a spokesman said.

A house in Alfred Street, Bury, is currently being examined by police.

Officers believe the woman is the baby's mother, said Detective Superintendent Sam Haworth, of Greater Manchester Police.

"We have made significant progress on the investigation over the last couple of days and this has led us to make the arrest this morning.

"At this stage it is too soon to go into the finer points of the investigation, but we are confident we have found baby Aliyah's mother.

"We are now ensuring she receives any medical help that she might require and she is also getting the best possible support from specially trained officers.

"We will continue to monitor her for any health problems," he added.

The name Aliyah, meaning beautiful in Arabic, was given to the baby by detectives.

She was wrapped in a black and pink zebra print scarf when she was discovered by a member of the public three weeks ago.

She had been carefully placed over the wall of the front garden.

Paramedics were called but the baby was pronounced dead at the scene.

A post-mortem examination could not determine the cause of her death although it is known she was born alive but died following the birth.

It is believed she was no more than one to two days old.

Officers are investigating whether anyone else was aware of the birth, Mr Haworth added.

The woman was arrested in the Alfred Street house which is currently being examined, police sources said.

Officers will meet members of the community later today to update them on the development, Mr Haworth added.

"I would like to take this opportunity to thank the community for all their support over the last three weeks and we hope this will continue.

"We understand the impact this arrest is going to have on the community and there will continue to be officers in the area to address any concerns, so please don't hesitate to approach them," he said.