The Millom Baby – a community member never forgotten

By Rachael Grealish

FOR 27 years a voiceless member of the Copeland community has gone without an identity, he was laid to rest as ‘a child of god’ – but more commonly known as the Millom Tip Baby.

Never forgotten: Donald Eaton visits the grave of the Millom Baby every week     								   -photo by Robert Haile

Never forgotten: Donald Eaton visits the grave of the Millom Baby every week –photo by Robert Haile

On December 1, 1989, a Millom tip workman thought he had found the broken remains of a child’s plastic doll – what it turned out to be is said to have shocked the Haverigg man to the core.

Upon investigation he discovered the burnt and decapitated body of a 15-18 month-old baby boy in a Redhills tip.

Cumbria Constabulary investigated tirelessly for years – but to little or no luck.

In 27 years no information has proved conclusive and it has never been uncovered as to who the little boy was or what truly happened to him.

On May 23 1990 the Millom Baby was laid to rest in St George’s church yard, in Millom.

Millom Town Councillors and members of the community each year, on Christmas, gather around the child’s grave and lay a wreath.

Millom Town Councillor and Copeland borough councillor, Felicity Wilson, said: “It was such a sad day for the community when the body of that little boy was found – it shook everyone.

“I believe the police worked very hard to find out what happened and I hope one day we do find out what happened.”

Mystery identity: Police search the tip where the baby boy's body was found in 1989     -photo submitted

Mystery identity: Police search the tip where the baby boy’s body was found in 1989 -photo submitted

Every week the baby is also visited by Egremont man Donald Eaton, 66, who for over two decades has been a justice campaigner for the baby.

Mr Eaton said he won’t rest until justice is given for the Millom Baby and his identity is found.

He said: “That little boy deserves the respect of being laid to rest with a name – yes, he’s a ‘child of god’ but he was also a little baby, a living person that had a name and if we can’t find out what that name was then he should be given a name.”

Mr Eaton has spent over 20 years campaigning to not only see justice done but so the Millom Baby is not forgotten.

“I get phone calls and I think it might be the breakthrough he deserves,” said Mr Eaton, “but it’s never any luck – someone out there must know who this little boy is and where he came from – and I won’t stop searching until the day I die.”

Mr Eaton has launched many appeals for information over the years – including contacting Crime Stoppers, the Prime Minister and Copeland MP’s.

Mr Eaton also believes that if the identity of the child is not discovered than the child should be posthumously named.

“Some people have suggested he should be named after me for the effort I’ve put in to give him justice,” Donald said, “but no matter what name, he does deserve one.”

Mr Eaton hopes that the memory of the Millom Baby will not be forgotten and media coverage could help keep the case alive in the community.

Cumbria Constabulary press office said: “This was a complex investigation and the baby remains unidentified.”

Anyone with information related to the death should contact Cumbria Police on 101.

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