Baby found buried at beach was a girl

Police Forensic Services transport the remains of the infant off the beach on Sunday.
Police Forensic Services transport the remains of the infant off the beach on Sunday. Photo: Wolter Peeters

The body of a newborn baby found buried in the sand at Maroubra beach, Sydney on Sunday has been identified as a girl.

An autopsy carried out on Monday also revealed the baby still had her umbilical cord attached, suggesting she had not been born in a hospital. However whether the baby was stillborn, or the cause of her death have not yet been determined.

The news comes as NSW authorities confirm they will consider introducing "baby hatches", such as those adopted in China and Germany, following the discovery of two abandoned newborns in as many weeks.

Police at the crime scene on Sunday.
Police at the crime scene on Sunday.  Photo: Wolter Peeters

The hatches allow parents to remain anonymous when they leave unwanted children to be cared for by health workers.

NSW Police Minister Stuart Ayres said authorities should consider baby hatches and that "everything has to be on the table for us to be able to support ... families that are in desperate need of help and assistance".

The discovery of the newborn at the beach came a week after a baby was found crying at the bottom of an eight-foot drainpipe by passing cyclists. The mother was later found and charged by police.

The baby was discovered 30 centimetres beneath the sand by two brothers, aged six and seven, who were digging at the southern end of the beach on Sunday morning.

The sex and age of the baby could not immediately be determined due to decomposition.

Police said it was unlikely the mother of the infant gave birth in a hospital, and hold grave concerns for her welfare.

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A senior police source said officers had contacted Sydney hospitals and were yet to find anything to suggest the mother had checked in anywhere as a patient. 

NSW Police Commissioner Andrew Scipione pleaded with the infant's mother to come forward and seek help a day after the shocking discovery. 

"Come and talk to us, seek some advice, we need to talk with you. You can contact us at any time," he said.

"We know that somebody out there knows somebody that has been through this.

"So if the particular woman won't come forward herself, please if you are a friend, a true friend, you will tell us because we think she might need some help."

The newborn'sdiscovery came one week after another baby was dumped but found alive in a stormwater draing at Quakers Hill.  

Randwick councillor Brendan Roberts said the baby was unearthed during an under 7's nippers' game of beach flags.   

"It [where the baby was found] was next to the flags race and the finish line was near the dunes. So the kids that lost had to hang around while everyone was eliminated and we had a winner," Cr Roberts said.

He said nippers often tumbled around and dug holes on the sidelines while waiting for the next event to start.

That is exactly what his son Oscar had been doing in the same spot half an hour before the baby was discovered, he said.

"It was just such a contrast - everyone smiling and happy [and] this small little baby was just buried under our feet .. it's just sad. [It's] a little bit stomach-turning and really close to home because we were there.

"There was probably a dozen five-year-old boys swarming over that dune. They were jumping down the dunes on to the beach and running back up to the top and jumping down again."

Cr Roberts, a Fairfax Media employee and a South Maroubra Life Saving Club volunteer, said no one on the beach had any idea what was going on when a lifeguard came down with a loud speaker and asked all the parents and nippers to move.

"Half a dozen police started walking the beach telling everyone to move north. There was no information at that time, they wouldn't tell us anything.

"It's very eerie and as a local councillor and community representative, if any person out there is feeling desperate please call someone to talk to someone and see what we can do."

Homicide detectives are assisting Eastern beaches police with their investigations. 

Anyone with information was urged to call Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000.