Woman appears in court over death of baby found 26 years ago

Woman appears in court over death of baby found 26 years ago

A WOMAN has appeared in court charged with the murder of a baby found dead in woodland 26 years ago.

Joanne Sharkey, 54, of West Derby, Liverpool, appeared at Warrington Magistrates' Court on Tuesday charged with murder and the concealment of the birth of a child.

She was remanded into custody and is due to appear before Liverpool Crown Court on Thursday.


The baby was discovered by a member of the public on March 14, 1998 in the Callands are of Warrington, Cheshire.

Attending officers named the child Callum after the area of the town where he was found.

A murder investigation was subsequently launched by detectives from Cheshire Police.

There were no arrests in relation to the incident until July 2023, when a man and a woman from Liverpool were detained and before being released on bail.

However, the woman, subsequently named as Sharkey, was rearrested on Monday and charged with murder.

'Emotional case'

"I understand that this is an extremely emotional case which has attracted a lot of attention over the past 26 years, however I would ask people not to speculate," said Detective Inspector Hannah Friend of Cheshire Constabulary.

"Criminal proceedings are now active against Joanne Sharkey, and she has the right to a fair trial.

"It is extremely important that there should be no reporting, commentary or sharing of information online which could in any way prejudice these proceedings."

The man who was arrested as part of the investigation has since been released without charge.

Officers are not looking for anyone else in relation to the death.