Ministry to hold funeral for baby found dead in Indianapolis creek
There is a new development in the case of a newborn baby found dead in a local creek. Someone has stepped forward, but it is not the mother. Instead, it is a woman who wants the baby to have a name and dignity in death.
Why would anyone dump a baby in a creek? That's the question we have all asked since the discovery was made March 17 in a creek near 16th Street and Post Road.
"It's pretty devastating to think about and I think the only thing I can consider is this mom must have been terrified about something. She must have been really sick or she made that decision from a place of fear," said Indianapolis resident Linda Znachko who is finding hope in the tragedy.
It is the same attitude Znachko took in 2009 when she learned another dead baby was discovered in an Indianapolis dumpster. It was Nichole Moody's child. Moody's son Nicholas had died in the hospital one day after birth.
The family wanted the boy cremated. They sent the body to a funeral home, but the remains were eventually discovered in a dumpster. No one was ever charged in the case. Znachko's ministry He Knows Your Name provided a proper burial for baby Nicholas.
When Moody learned there was a baby found dead in a creek, she contacted Znachko and asked what could be done. Znachko wanted to make sure the child had a dignified burial.
"I really want to give this little baby the value and worth that he deserves and that's by realizing that his life is sacred," said Znachko. "I think the heartbeat of God is that He gives all of us worth because we are image bearers of His. To take this opportunity and speak really loudly and say this baby was not lost, this baby was found and that God's arm is so long it saves anyone, no matter what," said Znachko. "Our God wants to save the mother as much as we wants this baby. I hope this mother finds that God loves her and that God wants to save her and He wants to rescue her from the pit she's in," said Znachko.
With no mother to claim the child, Znachko was given the death certificate and is planning a 10:00 am funeral on Saturday, March 30 at the Washington Park East Cemetery.
Znachko had one more significant step to take.
"It's really important that we give this baby a name," said Znachko. "Names give us our identity and purpose in our lives of who we are. It comes with meaning and history and tells us what family we are from. I've named him Moses. Moses means drawn from the water," said Znachko. "Moses was a leader. In the scriptures, he was a mighty man of God and he sought after God and God loved him and used him to make the Israelites move out of Egypt, out of bondage. Moses was rescued out of the Nile. This baby has been rescued. But then Moses turned and went and rescued. There's so much purpose in every life. Even though this baby died as an infant, this baby's life matters and makes a difference and I know can change another person's life."
Znachko's ministry began in 2009 as a result of helping Moody through the death and burial of baby Nicholas.
"Her baby lived 13 hours and that 13 hours changed my life," said Znachko. "Moses is going to be buried tomorrow because of Nicholas. There are other babies at that cemetery that have been buried because of Nicholas."
Police are still trying to find the mother who put the baby in the creek and the Marion County coroner is waiting on toxicology results to come back before releasing a cause of death.
While there is so much we don't know, here is what we do know. People that do not even know this baby boy will be the ones saying goodbye.
"There's a whole community impacted. The church in the area has been praying for this baby. They're going to come tomorrow and have a part in the ceremony. I think when we stand as a community, we say life matters," said Znachko. "I certainly feel in adopting him in death that I'm giving him worth and value by burying him tomorrow and inviting a community of people to come alongside me and say let's just celebrate his life together, let's celebrate all of life together."
Znachko says she is also thinking about the boy's mother who remains unidentified.
"I just hope for her that she's getting the healing she needs and I hope that someday she could realize that this child was really of value and worth. She probably doesn't feel valued. That just tells me she needs to be healed. I hope she gets that healing for herself," said Znachko. "Whether this mom terminated this pregnancy out of guilt or shame, it doesn't matter. We can still say God is bigger than that and that can be wiped away in His love and forgiveness."