Baby Charlie abandoned by mother at Newham General Hospital

Police are trying to reunite a mother who abandoned her new baby boy just hours after giving birth at Newham General Hospital.

Officers say they are growing increasingly concerned for the welfare of the mother who has been missing since Wednesday. The case has been called “heartbreaking” by police and nurses at the hospital have nicknamed the baby in their care Charlie.

The woman who gave her name as Katalena Sctarra and said she was from Birmingham was on High Street North, East Ham, outside the Tots to Teens shop on at around 6.30pm when she went into labour.

A passer-by, who police are keen to here from, helped Katalena and immediately called an ambulance. She was taken to Newham General Hospital where minutes after arriving at 7pm she gave birth to a baby boy.

At round 11:40pm Katalena went outside the hospital to have a cigarette. It is at this point that she disappeared. One witness said she walked towards the hospital car park.

Charlie weighed in at 5lb 1oz.At this stage detectives do not know if Charlie’s mother gave her real name to the hospital staff.

Katalena is described as Eastern European, possibly Romanian, of a slim build with blue or green eyes, shoulder length blonde hair, and approximately 5 ft 4 ins tall. Katalena was wearing a grey bomber jacket with a pink zip and a multi-striped hooded jumper when she went missing. She spoke broken English with an Eastern European accent.

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In a direct appeal to Katalena, Det Sgt Gerard Healy, of the Newham Missing Persons Unit, said: “We are getting increasingly concerned for your welfare and I would urge you to make contact with us. It is really important that we know you are safe.”

Appealing to the wider public, DS Healy added: “This is a heartbreaking case and we hope that Charlie’s mother comes forward to be reunited with her baby boy. Whilst Charlie is receiving the best possible care, we are concerned that his mother may require medical attention and support. It is thought she walked towards the hospital car park before disappearing. We urge anyone who has seen her or been in contact with her, to contact police”

Charlie is officially now in the care of Newham Council’s Children and Young Persons Services. The council are assisting in the search for the mother. A spokesperson said: “We have taken appropriate steps to ensure the child is safe and looked after.”

Anyone with information as to the whereabouts of the mother is asked to call Detective Sergeant Gerard Healy on: (020) 7275 5728 or they can call Crimestoppers on 0800 555111.