A DAD who found the body of a newborn baby "chucked in a canal like rubbish" said he has been left "sick to the stomach" and suffering flashbacks.
Lee Coles, a full-time carer, initially believed the tiny tot was a doll after spotting the body in the water as he returned home from doing his dad's shopping.
But after using a branch to move debris away, the 27-year-old saw "hands and feet".
And he said when he returned home he hugged his own little boy tighter.
Cops are desperately trying to trace the little one's mum after horror unfolded at Rough Wood country park in Walsall, West Mids yesterday.
Lee, dad to a 16-month-old, said: “I was just walking down the canal on my way back home. I was looking at the chicks in the water and then I spotted something in the water.
“It wasn’t obvious what it was because of the angle it was at. There was debris on top, like something had been thrown on it.
"I just thought someone had thrown a whole chicken in the canal – but when I got closer, I noticed I noticed the feet and the hands.
“I used a branch to move the debris to look properly, and there was the body of a baby.
“It was a newborn, completely naked. At first I thought it was a doll.
“Once I confirmed it was a real baby I rang the emergency services.
“I’m still having flashbacks.”
Cops investigating the tragedy today said they believe the baby had been in the water for up to four days.
The youngster is believed to have been born at full-term.
Lee said the horrifying find was one of the worst moments of his life.
“I was sick to the stomach. I was physically heaving," he said.
“I went into complete shock. I couldn’t move. I had to sit down back – I felt like I was going to pass out.
“I have never ever been in such a situation in my life. It’s one of the worst things I’ll ever go through."
He said he believed the little one had been there for some time – adding: “It was just a gory scene.
“When I got home I hugged my son a bit tighter. I just didn’t want to let go.
“The poor baby was chucked in the canal like a piece of rubbish.
“I’m struggling to make sense of it. I’m just heartbroken and in shock.
“It’s a sight no-one should have have to see.”
West Midlands Police have today urged the boy's mother to come forward – and said she remains their "primary concern".
It's feared the mum may be in desperate need of medical assistance.
And 'heartbroken' detectives have called for anyone who might suspect they know who the woman is to get in touch.
Detective Chief Inspector Jim Munro said: "This discovery is simply tragic.
"The death of this baby is absolutely heartbreaking.
"Our priority at this time is finding the little boy's mother.
"We're also working with partners in health, social care and education to see if they can help us identify his mother.
"I realise how distressing this tragedy is for the local community, but please don't speculate on the circumstances of this upsetting incident, it hinders our investigation and is painful for those involved.
"We are appealing for the mum of that little boy to come forward and speak with us.
"We have grave concerns for her health and her wellbeing and that is our priority at this time."
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