Baby found dead in dumpster


Steve Jefferson/Eyewitness News

Indianapolis - Metro police are trying to find out who left a baby in a dumpster on the near north side. Investigators hope the public can help them identify the mother after making the disturbing discovery Monday afternoon.

Someone called police after finding the infant in a dumpster near 24th and Illinois around 1:00 pm. Workers from the coroner's office removed the body from the dumpster and used a sheet to block the view of on-lookers.

Now comes the work of identifying the remains and who they belong to. Metro Chief of Investigations William Benjamin already has a message for the mother.

"We do need answers as what happened and why this termination point occurred here on this lot," said Benjamin.

The couple who found the dead infant did not want to speak on camera. They sat on the back of their pick-up truck stunned by their discovery. As they searched for scrap metal, they never imagined finding remains. The building where the dumpster is located is a closed warehouse.

Damon Hardy is also trying to understand why anyone would do such a thing.

"Don't just disown a child. I just don't think that is right. It's kind of shocking," said Hardy.

"The way this small infant was disposed of, it's got to touch your heart," said Deputy Chief Benjamin.

Crime Lab workers dusted the outside of the dumpster for fingerprint. Although nearby cameras are pointed in other directions, investigators will check to see if anyone is caught on tape.

Police also want to hear from people who know of someone no longer expecting without a newborn.

"This could be a stillborn," said Sgt. Matthew Mount.

Deputy Chief Benjamin promises every resource to not only find the mother but also to make sure she gets any help she needs.

Police encourage Hoosiers to be aware of the state's safe haven law, which does the following:

Allows a distressed parent to give up an unwanted infant safely, legally and confidentially;
Protects the parent from arrest or prosecution for abandonment;
Requires no names or records;
Permits babies less than 45 days old to be given up at any hospital emergency room, fire station or police station in Indiana;
Makes medical treatment and social services available to the birth mother; and
Puts the child into the custody of the Department of Child Services, which places the infant in a foster or pre-adoptive home.