Police are frantically looking for a woman to get her medical help, saying she might have given birth just hours before her newborn baby was found dead in a Newcastle backyard.
Emergency services were called to an address on Church St in Stockton, three hours north of Sydney, just after 7am today following reports the newborn was found.
Police said the owner of the home, who has "no association" to the mother or the child, made the grisly discovery as they wandered their backyard early this morning.
Speaking to reporters this afternoon, Newcastle Police Commander Detective Superintendent Brett Greentree described it as a "heartbreaking situation" and implored the mum to come forward so they could help her.
"We have grave concerns for her, she may need medical asssistance," Greentree said.
The Stockton home where the baby was found sits next to a deserted laneway.
Greentree said police were now running a parallel investigation — trying to figure out how the baby died and came to be in the Stockton backyard, and trying to figure out where the mother was so she could be helped.
"It is very important we make sure she's OK," Greentree said.
"It is very early in the investigation... but we should stress we are very concerned about this female who has given birth, we believe, very recently.
"We are concerned about her welfare and want to ensure any medical requirements are met."
He said neighbours and the owner of the home had been assisting police all day with their inquiries.
Greentree said police were canvassing the community, local hospitals and the surrounding neighbourhood to try and find the mother.
Forensic teams and detectives have been on the scene since 7am this morning, rushing to the home under lights and sirens.
The Newcastle Heraldreports neighbours are lining the usually quiet suburban street and watching police work.
Three ambulance units rushed to the scene but the baby was already dead.
A post-mortem examination will be conducted to determine the age and cause of death, NSW Police said.
Police continue to appeal to the public for help finding the mum.