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Mother charged over newborn baby's grisly death in 1996.

WARNING: This post contains graphic content

A 43-year-old woman has been accused of killing her newborn baby more than 20 years ago, and has been charged with manslaughter.

Maria Lena Raymond, from Manoora in Queensland, was arrested on Sunday and charged after she allegedly confessed the crime to a close friend. She has since been granted bail.

Raymond would have been aged 23 when the two-day-old baby boy’s body was found in a Cairns driveway on May 4, 1996.

Police allege the baby – whose umbilical cord was reportedly still attached – had been drowned, cut in half and dumped, before dogs dragged the boy’s torso to the driveway.

Raymond charged
Maria Lena Raymond was charged after she confessed the crime to a friend. Image via 9News.

The lower half of the infant's body was never found and despite a lengthy police investigation by police, the case remained unsolved.

Raymond has been charged with manslaughter, misconduct with regards to a corpse and concealing the birth of a child.

The development came after someone contacted police in December, following a renewed appeal for information, claiming she had heard Raymond admit to the crime.

baby crime scene
Police at the crime scene in 1996. Image via 9News.
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"That person was obviously known to the lady, and the lady had divulged to this person over the years in relation to the incident," Detective Inspector Geoff Marsh told The Courier Mail.

Detectives say a DNA test positively identified Raymond as the mother of the boy.

After appearing in Cairns Magistrates Court, Raymond was granted bail.

Acting Magistrate Richard Lehmann was told that she was engaged in mental health treatment and was a low risk of self harm.

haywood st cairns
The street where the boy's body was found in 1996. Image via Google Maps.

Raymond's solicitor, Rowan Silva, accepted that there was strong evidence suggesting his client was the baby’s mother, but told the court that she had made statements during two police interviews that she had given birth and the baby had died.

"There’s still a lot that needs to be considered. She’s not an unacceptable risk," Silva said.

Maria Lena Raymond has no criminal history. The case has been adjourned until April 5.