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Major crime detectives investigating after newborn found dead in Victoria parking lot

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Major crime detectives are investigating after a newborn baby was found dead in a Victoria parking lot Wednesday night.

Paramedics and Victoria police patrol officers were called to reports that a dead infant was discovered in the 700-block of Bay Street, near the Blanshard Centre shopping plaza, just before 10 p.m.

In a statement Thursday, Victoria police said investigators believe the baby was recently born, possibly in the area.

The child's mother may be in need of urgent medical care and support, police said.

Detectives with the Vancouver Island Integrated Major Crime Unit, which investigates homicides and suspicious deaths, have taken over the investigation.

Several Victoria police officers, including a forensic identification team, were examining the scene outside the plaza's Subway restaurant, near the intersection of Bay and Blanshard streets, in the early morning hours Thursday.

The restaurant remained behind police tape as investigators collected items from the scene and took photographs in and around the restaurant property, including inside a restaurant bathroom.

Investigators donned white coveralls, masks and gloves to examine a pair of dumpsters and another garbage bin behind the building.

A spokesperson for Our Place Society, a homeless shelter and support centre in Victoria, said he immediately alerted his staff to be on the lookout for a woman in distress following the incident.

"I can't imagine anything much more heartbreaking," said Grant McKenzie. "My heart really goes out to everybody involved, but especially the mother."

Nicole Andrews, an outreach worker for young parents at the Cridge Centre for the Family in Victoria, called the incident "devastating."

"I'm sure that the circumstances were quite horrible for this woman to feel that was how she had to solve the situation that she found herself in," Andrews said.

"There needs to be consequences for the actions but we need to understand why it occurred and what resources she was lacking, what the situation was, before there are consequences." 

Anyone with information about the baby or the whereabouts of the mother is asked to contact major crime detectives at 250-380-6211. 

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