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Police speak to mother of baby found in creek

Published: 5:21AM Monday July 04, 2011 Source: ONE News

Police have spoken to the mother of a newborn baby whose body was found in a south Auckland creek.

The baby girl's body was found in a bag in a stream on Burnside Road in Ardmore, just metres from the rural home of top harness racing trainer/driver Tony Herlihy, about 9pm on Saturday.

Police say they have interviewed the baby's 21-year-old mother but no charges have been laid. Herlihy confirmed to ONE News the woman worked for him as a stable hand.

"She was living there, she was obviously pregnant I suppose. I'm not too sure, the police have handled everything there. We didn't know anything about this," he said.

Herlihy said the woman had worked for him for about six to eight months and he never knew she was pregnant.

He said she was a good worker and had a background in racing.

"It's just very upsetting and a shock for everybody," he said.

Detective Senior Sergeant Darrell Harpur said a post mortem was carried out this morning which confirmed that the body was that of a baby girl of at least 35 weeks gestation.

"However, the circumstances surrounding the death of the baby remain unclear and we await the results of pathology tests and ongoing enquiries."

Police believe the baby was born on Wednesday, June 29.

The baby was four weeks premature, but police can't confirm whether she was born alive.

Herlihy and his wife initially dismissed any links to their family.

Herlihy told ONE News was not aware of a pregnant woman living in the property, but that he does own the house and it is lived in by his workers.

It is understood that the Ardmore house was home to a number of locals who worked with more than 30 horses on the property on a daily basis. There are also six staff living on the property.

Police earlier reportedly cordoned off a worker's house on the property.

People who work for Herlihy and who live on the property that was scoured yesterday say workers there are very upset.

Police said the man who discovered the body had been interviewed and they have also spoken to all the neighbours on the rural street.

Counties Manukau Police are appealing for information from anybody who may have seen anything suspicious while driving along Burnside Road between 4.30-7pm last Wednesday 29 June.

- With Newstalk ZB