Body found in Bristol mother and baby search

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Media captionPolice and Mountain Rescue teams search gorge for missing baby

Police searching for a mother and her four-day-old baby who went missing from a Bristol hospital have found a woman's body in the Avon Gorge.

Charlotte Bevan, 30, disappeared from St Michael's Hospital with her daughter, named Zaani Tiana, between 20:30 and 21:00 GMT on Tuesday.

Officers have cordoned off an area in the grounds of Clifton Observatory above the gorge.

Avon and Somerset police said Ms Bevan's family had been informed.

A formal identification of the body is due to take place later on Thursday. The search for baby Zaani is "still continuing", police said.

Image caption Police have cordoned off an area above Avon Gorge
Image caption Police have searched near the observatory while Mountain Rescue teams have also been called in
Image caption The Mountain Rescue teams searched the cliffs near the cordon

"We are searching in the same area along with police dogs from South Wales Police. We are only searching in that area," he said.

Image copyright Avon and Somerset Police
Image caption Charlotte Bevan left the hospital with the baby wrapped in blankets

Mountain rescue teams and the police helicopter were also involved in the search at the observatory.

On Wednesday, CCTV footage was issued showing the 30-year-old mother leaving hospital.

Ms Bevan did not have a coat or shoes and is thought to have been wearing hospital slippers, while her baby was wrapped only in blankets.

The night she went missing temperatures in Bristol were close to freezing.

Police, her mother and her boyfriend Pascal Malbrouck made a direct appeal for her to get in touch at a press conference on Wednesday.

A spokesman for University Hospitals Bristol, which runs St Michael's Hospital, said Ms Bevan had discharged herself for "reasons unknown" and there had been no signs she was planning to leave.

"Charlotte and her baby were seen by staff at 20:30. When staff went to check on her at 21:05 they found Charlotte and her baby missing and immediately sounded the alarm," he said.

The hospital said access to the maternity unit is controlled by a "door release" and CCTV. It is not clear how Ms Bevan was able to leave.

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Media captionCCTV showed Charlotte Bevan leaving hospital on Tuesday evening

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