Facebook post’s claim about a newborn baby being found by police in Essex is false

2 August 2022
What was claimed

A newborn baby was just found in Essex by police.

Our verdict

False. The baby pictured in the Facebook post claiming this was actually found in Arizona, and Essex Police say they’re not aware of any such incident.

A post on Facebook, shared in a group for people to exchange property in Essex, says: “#BREAKING UPDATE: A newborn baby has been found in Essex this morning by the police. Let us spread the word and help identifying [sic] who this newborn baby belongs to.”

At the time of writing the post in the “Essex House Exchange” Facebook group has over 1,700 shares.

It is accompanied by a picture of a baby wrapped in a blanket who appears to be strapped to an ambulance stretcher.

But the image actually shows a baby who was found outside a home in Arizona in the US, on 22 July, not Essex. And Essex Police have confirmed to Full Fact that they are not aware of such an incident.

In recent days, many similar posts have also been shared on local Facebook groups in the US, claiming the same pictured child has been recently found in the given area.

We’ve seen such posts in groups for those in Hattiesburg, Mississippi, in Houma, Louisiana and in Walkersville, Maryland. There is no reason to believe any are genuine reports.

In Manistique, Michigan, the public safety department put out a warning about a post using the same picture, saying: “It has come to the attention of Manistique Public Safety that a post was made about a newborn baby being found by police in Schoolcraft County. This information is FALSE.”

Picture courtesy of Omar Lopez

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