In an icecream tub on a footpath
Officers in Wandsworth borough are making appeals after a suspected human placenta was found on a footpath near Tooting Bec.
Police were called at approximately 06:55hrs on Saturday 30 March by a member of the public reporting that that had found what they thought was a human organ on a path at the back of Tooting Bec Athletics Track.
The person who called police had been walking their dog on the path when they found an ice cream tub in a bag that they believed contained a human organ.
At this early stage officers believe the item had been partially buried but was probably unearthed by an animal.
There was no visual evidence in the area around where the item was found that there is anything else partially buried. A search using specially trained police 'blood' dogs did not find anything either.
The item has been taken for pathological examination, which will take place in due course.
Police took photos of the item found to medical staff who suggested that it was possibly a human placenta, maybe two weeks old. Officers await this to be confirmed through testing of the item though.
However, this very early initial suggestion gives officer cause for concern that there may be a vulnerable new mother who has given birth without medical assistance, and who may require it.
Chief Inspector Nick Aldworth from Wandsworth Borough said: "Obviously we are at the very early stages of the investigation into what has been found, but the suggestion that it could be a human placenta does give us concern that there could be an individual whose health and wellbeing may be at risk.
"That said; we retain an open mind regarding the item and how it came to be buried on the pathway pending the results of testing and any confirmed information coming to light.
"Therefore we are appealing to the person who buried the item to contact us, or anyone who knows the person who buried the item. Your call will be treated in the strictest of confidence.
"We are also appealing to anyone who uses the path at the back of Tooting Bec Athletics Track to contact us if they remember seeing anything out of the ordinary there recently.
"I would like to emphasise that our primary concern at the moment is for the welfare of anybody who may have given birth without medical assistance and our focus is currently on welfare and not enforcement. Anybody who comes forward will be treated with this in mind."
Anyone who can assist police is asked to call on 101.
April 2, 2013