Unsolved Murders


Age: 0

Sex: male

Date: 31 Jan 1913

Place: Cuckmere, Walnuts Farm, Heathfield

Source: www.britishnewspaperarchive.co.uk

The body of a child was found neatly tied up in a brown paper parcel in a stream.

The body was found by the farmer of walnut Farm as he was crossing the stream on his land. He saw the brown paper parcel lying in three inches of shallow water and obstructed by a log of wood. The stream was called the Cuckmere and the place where the body parcel was found was only half a mile away from its source and 60 yards downstream from where it left Heathfield Park under a bridge known locally as Weavers Brook. He said that it appeared to have been washed downstream.

When he undid the parcel, he found the baby and went straight to the police.

The child had been wrapped up in an old green petticoat and underneath the body there was a man's white linen handkerchief with three sides of the border torn off although there were no marks of identification.

Afterwards the child's body was taken to the Star Inn where the inquest was carried out.

A policeman who explored the area said that he found freshly broken twigs near the railway bridge suggesting that something had recently been thrown over it into the stream.

The autopsy showed that the child had a fractured skull on the right side which was about two inches long. The doctor said that he thought that that had been caused by the child's skull coming into contact with something in the stream. He said that he could not determine whether the child had had a separate existence but that he thought it had and said that the child had probably been born about 24 hours before it was found in the stream.

*map pointers are rough estimates based on known location details as per Place field above.

see Sussex Agricultural Express - Friday 31 January 1913, p3