The identity of a newborn baby found dead at a waste management plant remains a mystery nearly six years on, an inquest has heard. Police launched a massive search for the baby girl’s mother after workers found parts of her body on a conveyor belt used for sorting rubbish.

The woman has never been identified but police have made a new appeal for information and vowed to keep the investigation active. A coroner told the inquest it may never be known what “desperate circumstances” led to “such a callous disposal” of the girl’s body. Experts said the catastrophic injuries apparent on the body were caused by machinery at the plant. When she was found tip staff even thought that she might be the remains of a dead chicken.

Night shift workers at Associated Waste Management, in Shipley, made the grim discovery in May 2011 as they sorted rubbish. Police narrowed the search down to 36,000 potential properties where the rubbish could have come from and all were sent a letter appealing for help, but to no avail. Detective Superintendent Nick Wallen said: “This is not an inquiry that will ever be closed. If we ever receive information to suggest who mum may have been we will act on that.”