Hundreds of mourners attended the funeral of a stillborn baby girl who nobody knew.The baby, named Raihana by officers who found her, was given an official naming ceremony before her coffin was lowered into the ground in Oxford. A sign to be erected beside the small grave read: ‘RIP Raihana. Born asleep February 2016.’
Nobody was ever able to find Raihana’s family. Det Insp Jim Holmes – the officer who named her – put out a final appeal to find Raihana’s mother before the funeral. ‘No matter how small the lead, we will follow it up,’ he said, in a moving speech delivered at Raihana’s graveside. We will keep on trying to find your mother. That is my promise to you.’
Members of the public left pink teddy bears and bouquets of flowers, along with notes of remembrance. Det Insp Holmes chose her name because it is known across the Arabic-speaking world, and means ‘heaven’s flower’.
He continued: ‘For someone who was on the earth for such a short time, you have touched the hearts and minds of the community and the entire country. You have left an indelible mark.’