Moving images of mother who abandoned baby Charlie at Newham General Hospital

Police bidding to trace the mother of an abandoned newborn baby boy have tonight released moving CCTV images of her leaving Newham General Hospital.

And detectives have made a direct appeal to the mother to come forward and be re-united with her son.

They want to assure her she is not in trouble and that they are treating the case as a missing person’s inquiry not a crime.

The woman is seen walking along the hospital corridor from the delivery suite to the exit where she made off.

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 last Wednesday September 14 at about 6.30pm when she went into labour.


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A passer-by, who police are keen to hear 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 approximately 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.

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The infant whom nurses named ‘Charlie’, weighed 5lbs 1oz.

At this stage detectives do not know if Charlie’s mother gave her real name to the hospital staff, and are hoping that she lives locally.

Katalena is described as Eastern European, possibly Romanian, of a slim build with blue or green eyes, shoulder length blonde hair, and approximately 5ft 4 ins.

She 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.

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

“Your baby is safe and doing really well but we need to talk to you. Please don’t think you are in trouble or about to be arrested - we just want to know you are okay.”

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.

“We would appeal to anyone who recognises her, or has any information about what happened to her after she left the hospital, to contact us.”

Anyone with information about Katalena is asked to call Det Sgt Gerard Healy on (020) 7275 5728 or they can call Crimestoppers on 0800 555111.

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