Northern Ireland

Police appeal over 1984 baby death in Lisburn

Scene where baby boy was found dead
A dog walker found the baby by the Ravernet River in Lisburn

The parents of a baby found dead on the banks of a river 30 years ago have been urged to contact police.

The baby boy was discovered in a green plastic bag by a woman walking her dog by the Ravernet River at Legacurry Road in Lisburn on 21 February 1984.

A post mortem examination revealed he was born alive but had died as a result of head injuries.

As part of efforts to identify his parents, detectives have obtained a DNA profile and they want to find a match.

'Tragedy'

Police have retained the plastic bag the baby was found in

"Our investigative work will continue, and with advances in forensic science we are hopeful of making further progress," said Detective Chief Inspector David Cunningham of the Serious Crime Branch.

"If you know or suspect who the parents are, then let us know and we can carry out a forensic comparison.

"But the best way of reaching an informed resolution to our investigation would be for the boy's parents or anyone who has information, suspicions or concerns about the circumstances of his birth and his untimely death 30 years ago to come forward and talk to police."

DCI Cunningham said the case was "first and foremost a tragedy".

"The boy would be a 30-year-old man today, perhaps with a family of his own," he said.

"As it is, he is a baby with no name, no family and no history. We owe it to this child to do everything we possibly can to determine the circumstances surrounding his death.

"If you are one of the parents of this baby boy and you have been wrestling with your conscience for the past 30 years, then this is an opportunity for you to do something positive about it.

"I would also ask anyone with information, even after 30 years, to be true to themselves and to the memory of this baby boy and talk to us."

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