Prince George's County police continued searching yesterday for the mother of a dead premature baby discovered abandoned Wednesday at Wild World amusement park.

Wrapped in a rust colored J.C. Penney towel and with his umbilical cord still attached, the baby boy was found behind a women's bathhouse at the amusement park in Largo. Police said they had not determined whether the baby was stillborn or died after birth, but he appeared to be about six weeks premature.

Police spokesman Bruce Gentile said a park patron discovered the infant about 3 p.m. on the grass next to an air-conditioning compressor. The patron, whose name was not released, was leaving the bathhouse and looking for her son when she went behind the building and saw the baby, Gentile said.

The baby showed "no marks or bruises or any signs of foul play," he said. "A young woman had a baby, didn't know what to do with it, and abandoned it. It happens all the time, tragically."

There were no clues either in the bathhouse -- with restroom, changing and shower facilities -- or in the surrounding area as to where the birth took place, Gentile said.

The area behind the bathhouse, he said, "is easily accessible, but a little off the beaten path."

"It's unusual for somebody to be walking back there," said Lyle Wolinsky, spokesman for the 80-acre Wild World park. "But people use it for a shortcut and {the woman} was looking for her son."

Fenced on three sides, the air-conditioning unit rests on a concrete base behind the bathhouse. The baby, Wolinsky said, was found in front of the concrete base.

"It's sad," Wolinsky said. "We have our own infirmary. If the woman had come to us, we would have been able to help."

With an estimated 5,000 patrons who passed through the park on Wednesday, Gentile said that locating the mother is "like looking for a needle in a haystack."

Police questioned visitors and employes at the park Wednesday but said they obtained no leads. They have notified hospitals in case the mother seeks treatment. Gentile said they were hoping to receive a call from "somebody who knows of somebody who was pregnant yesterday, isn't today and doesn't have a child in her possession."