THE people of Oxford have been invited to pay their respects to the baby girl found dead near a footpath at her funeral. 

Police have announced the baby, who was found by a member of the public off Edgeway Road, Marston, will be buried at Wolvercote Cemetery at 1pm on Tuesday, October 18,

The force decided to name the child Raihana as Detective Inspector Jim Holmes announced the burial would signal the end of their eight-month investigation to find her mother.

But the senior investigation officer, of Oxford CID, said in a message directly to the baby girl's parent: "Our door is still open to you."

He added: "We know how much the community in Marston and Oxford has been affected by this and everyone in the community is invited to pay their respects at the funeral.

"Unfortunately we have had no responses from anyone claiming to be Raihana’s mother or a member of her family, a friend or an associate at all.

"We recognise how important it is for your baby girl to have a name. 

"I chose the name. Having two children myself I know how hard it is to choose the name for your child and in these circumstances I think it is more important, this is the only memorial there is going to be."

Det Insp Holmes said Raihana's name means 'heaven’s flower', which originates from South East Asia and is believed to match the ethnicity of her mother.

Since February 29, the force has made several appeals to try to find the mother.

Det Insp Holmes said yesterday it was 'just as likely' for her to be in Oxford as for her to be on the other side of the world.

He added: "This is not a very common type of investigation.

"Nationally these cases can be counted on the fingers of one hand, so it is a difficult one to draw an end on.

"A lot of resources have been committed to this investigation, certainly the first couple of months, we have done extensive enquiries including ourselves and the National Crime Agency.

"A huge amount of social media appeal going across the world and within Oxford, the NHS nationally have been involved, so this will signal the end of that, but we have exhausted pretty much every line of enquiry we can."

The senior Oxford detective gave an emotional press conference at police headquarters in Kidlington and later told the Oxford Mail he found it quite difficult not to get emotionally attached.

He added: "Dealing with any person’s death is a tragic event, but when you’re dealing with a child’s death it’s much more penitent, especially if you’re a father or a mother yourself.

"It is quite difficult to switch those paternal instincts off and the circumstances of this investigation are so tragic, and unfortunately, you would have to be a very unique person not to get emotionally involved in the case."

An inquest in August found the unknown baby girl - found by walkers on the path between University Parks and Marston - was stillborn.

A police investigation into her death concluded by forensic pathologists found she had not led a 'separate existence' from her mother.

Det Insp Holmes added the mother would not be in any trouble if she came forward and appealed for her or the family to inform the police of any religions beliefs for the funeral.

He said: "There is still time for you to inform us of any wishes you may have.

"You can do this by calling a special number 07470911038.

"We have been working close with our partners, including the council, to ensure Raihana is laid to rest in a respectful way.

"My message to the public is you're welcome to come. It’s clear to me comments I’ve seen from our previous appeals that there is a great amount of sympathy and caring feeling towards the mother as well as to Raihana, so if people want to pay their respects they are more than welcome to."