Police pin Abbie hopes on frontal image of abductor

TWO WEEKS after the baby Abbie Humphries was taken from a Nottingham hospital, police believe they have found a frontal picture of her female kidnapper.

After studying hours of videotape from the hospital's security cameras, officers have located a blurred image of a woman which is now being enhanced by computer experts.

Nottinghamshire police would give no details of the image or when it would be released. But a spokesman said they were 'hopeful' it would prove helpful in the increasingly desperate search to find Abbie.

A week ago, police released two video shots of a back view of the woman taken by a security camera and three photofit pictures based on descriptions given by Abbie's father Roger, a hospital worker and two other witnesses. But the thousands of calls which followed failed to lead to Abbie.

Officers believe Abbie's abductor entered the Queen's Medical Centre, disguised in a black wig and a nurse's uniform and changed into leggings to make her escape after persuading Mr Humphries, 33, to hand his four- hour-old daughter over for a 'routine hearing check'.

'The image is at the laboratory,' a police spokesman said. 'Before it is released, we have to believe it will be helpful to the investigation. But we are hopeful it will be more helpful than the photofits which were all different and could have been misleading.'

Detectives are still relying heavily on public vigilance to lead them to Abbie and end the torment of her parents.

Detective Superintendent Harry Shepherd, leading the inquiry, and Paul Britton, a psychologist advising the police, are working on the theory that the kidnapper is a woman who has lost or cannot have a child of her own. But repeated pleas from the police and Abbie's family for the kidnapper to get in touch, even to say the baby is safe and well, have failed. A second appeal from Josie Clark, sister of Abbie's mother, Karen, to the abductor on Wednesday has brought no new leads.

Inspector David Gilbert, spokesman for the investigation team, warned yesterday that Abbie's kidnapper might be fooling neighbours by pretending that the child is a boy.

He urged the public to have no preconceived ideas about judging suspicious circumstances. He also warned that although Abbie was blonde when she was born, the colour could now have altered.

'There may be people who have noticed someone has not been turning up for work,' he added. 'That is a consideration - why hasn't that person been turning up for work? Ask yourselves that.'

He also asked milkmen and postmen to be alert for something unusual and asked holidaymakers to report anything suspicious. The baby could have been taken straight to a caravan, a holiday flat or a hotel, he said.

Meanwhile, David Bailey, the photographer, has criticised police after his wife Catherine, 32, was arrested on Wednesday in a London department store with her three-week-old son Sasha.

Scotland Yard said she was arrested because she refused to give personal details but Mr Bailey said this was not true. Mrs Bailey, who bears some resemblance to the photofits, has been stopped twice by police seeking Abbie.

Emma Watson has become the latest target of the 4Chan nude hacking scandal
peopleThreats follows actress' speech on feminism and equality at the UN
Alan Bennett criticised the lack of fairness in British society encapsulated by the private school system
peopleBut he does like Stewart Lee
David Moyes and Louis van Gaal
Arts and Entertainment
Sheridan Smith as Cilla Black and Ed Stoppard as her manager Brian Epstein
tvCilla Episode 2 review: Grit under the glamour in part two of biopic series starring Sheridan Smith
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
ebooksAn unforgettable anthology of contemporary reportage
Life and Style
Life and Style
Alan Turing, who was convicted of gross indecency in 1952, was granted a royal pardon last year
Life and Style
Arts and Entertainment
Tennis player Andy Murray's mum Judy has been paired with Anton du Beke for Strictly Come Dancing. 'I'm absolutely delighted,' she said.
tvJudy Murray 'struggling' to let Anton Du Beke take control on Strictly
Life and Style
Vote with your wallet: the app can help shoppers feel more informed about items on sale
lifeNew app reveals political leanings of food companies
Arts and Entertainment
The cover of Dark Side of the Moon
musicCan 'The Endless River' carry on the tradition? See for yourself
New Zealand fly-half Aaron Cruden pictured in The Zookeeper's Son on a late-night drinking session
Arts and Entertainment
Worldwide ticket sales for The Lion King musical surpassed $6.2bn ($3.8bn) this summer
tvMusical is biggest grossing show or film in history
A new app has been launched that enables people to have a cuddle from a stranger
voicesMaybe the new app will make it more normal to reach out to strangers
Arts and Entertainment
Salmond told a Scottish television chat show in 2001that he would also sit in front of a mirror and say things like,
tvCelebrity Trekkies from Alex Salmond to Barack Obama
Life and Style
food + drink
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Business Analyst/ Project Manager - Financial Services

£60000 Per Annum: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd: Our client in the Financial...

Primary Tutors needed in Chester

Negotiable: Randstad Education Chester: Primary Tutoring in Cheshire West &amp...

IT Teacher

£85 - £125 per day: Randstad Education Chester: Job Opportunity for Secondary ...

Cover Supervisor

Negotiable: Randstad Education Chester: Job Opportunities for Cover Supervisor...

Day In a Page

Secret politics of the weekly shop

The politics of the weekly shop

New app reveals political leanings of food companies
Beam me up, Scottie!

Beam me up, Scottie!

Celebrity Trekkies from Alex Salmond to Barack Obama
Beware Wet Paint: The ICA's latest ambitious exhibition

Beware Wet Paint

The ICA's latest ambitious exhibition
Pink Floyd have produced some of rock's greatest ever album covers

Pink Floyd have produced some of rock's greatest ever album covers

Can 'The Endless River' carry on the tradition?
Sanctuary for the suicidal

Sanctuary for the suicidal

One mother's story of how London charity Maytree helped her son with his depression
A roller-coaster tale from the 'voice of a generation'

Not That Kind of Girl:

A roller-coaster tale from 'voice of a generation' Lena Dunham
London is not bedlam or a cradle of vice. In fact it, as much as anywhere, deserves independence

London is not bedlam or a cradle of vice

In fact it, as much as anywhere, deserves independence
Vivienne Westwood 'didn’t want' relationship with Malcolm McLaren

Vivienne Westwood 'didn’t want' relationship with McLaren

Designer 'felt pressured' into going out with Sex Pistols manager
Jourdan Dunn: Model mother

Model mother

Jordan Dunn became one of the best-paid models in the world
Apple still coolest brand – despite U2 PR disaster

Apple still the coolest brand

Despite PR disaster of free U2 album
Scottish referendum: The Yes vote was the love that dared speak its name, but it was not to be

Despite the result, this is the end of the status quo

Boyd Tonkin on the fall-out from the Scottish referendum
Manolo Blahnik: The high priest of heels talks flats, Englishness, and why he loves Mary Beard

Manolo Blahnik: Flats, Englishness, and Mary Beard

The shoe designer who has been dubbed 'the patron saint of the stiletto'
The Beatles biographer reveals exclusive original manuscripts of some of the best pop songs ever written

Scrambled eggs and LSD

Behind The Beatles' lyrics - thanks to Hunter Davis's original manuscript copies
'Normcore' fashion: Blending in is the new standing out in latest catwalk non-trend

'Normcore': Blending in is the new standing out

Just when fashion was in grave danger of running out of trends, it only went and invented the non-trend. Rebecca Gonsalves investigates
Dance’s new leading ladies fight back: How female vocalists are now writing their own hits

New leading ladies of dance fight back

How female vocalists are now writing their own hits