Po­lice seek mother of new­born found in cooler

Ledger-Enquirer - - Front page - BY BEN WRIGHT AND ROBIN TRIMARCHI [email protected]­quirer.com rtri­[email protected]­quirer.com

Four days af­ter a new­born baby was found dead Sun­day in a cooler along Boy Scout Road in LaGrange, the mother who aban­doned the child hasn’t been iden­ti­fied as in­ves­ti­ga­tors con­tinue to pur­sue leads, a Troup County Sher­iff’s Deputy said Thurs­day.

“We are just hop­ing some­body will come for­ward with some in­for­ma­tion,” said Sgt. Ste­wart Smith, a spokesman for the sher­iff’s of­fice. “We got sev­eral tips to Crime Stop­pers, and our in­ves­ti­ga­tors are just fol­low­ing up on that. Noth­ing is lead­ing us one way or the other at this point.”

Key in­for­ma­tion about the baby’s death re­mains un­known af­ter an au­topsy was com­pleted Tues­day but re­quired fur­ther blood tests to help de­ter­mine a cause of death. The test­ing is ex­pected to take sev­eral weeks to months to com­plete.

The new­born was de­scribed as a full-term, white fe­male and showed no ob­vi­ous signs of trauma or in­jury. Wit­nesses in the area said the blue por­ta­ble cooler adorned with wa­ter­melon slices had been on the side of the road near the wood line for sev­eral days, pos­si­bly up to a week.

Smith said au­thor­i­ties have no idea whether they are look­ing for a lo­cal per­son or some­one trav­el­ing through the area. Boy Scout Road is lo­cated just off High­way 27, a ma­jor cor­ri­dor through LaGrange. “It could be some­one from out of town,” he said. “High­way 27, as you know, is a very busy high­way. We don’t know at this point.”

To pre­vent in­juries to and deaths of new­born chil­dren, the

Gen­eral As­sem­bly passed a law in 2002 that al­lows a par­ent to take an in­fant to a med­i­cal fa­cil­ity, fire sta­tion or po­lice sta­tion up to 30 days af­ter birth with­out fear of crim­i­nal charges.

If the mother is iden­ti­fied, Smith said charges could vary, depend­ing on whether the child was alive or the new­born was killed. The mother could face a homi­cide charge or a lesser charge of con­ceal­ing the death of an­other.

“It could be a range of any­thing in be­tween,” Smith said. “It’s all go­ing to be de­ter­mined if we’re able to peo­ple that did this tell us what hap­pened. Ob­vi­ously, there is no ex­cuse for dis­pos­ing of a child, but it will all be depend­ing on what led up to the death of the child.”

Smith said the sher­iff’s of­fice posted a sign out­side the build­ing in De­cem­ber to alert moth­ers about the law.

Any­one with in­for­ma­tion on an ex­pec­tant mother who was full term but no longer has a child should con­tact the sher- iff’s of­fice at 706-8831616 or Troup County Crime Stop­pers at 706812-1000.

Troup County Sher­iff's Of­fice

Signs like this one from the State of Ge­or­gia des­ig­nate that a site such as the Troup County Sher­iff’s Of­fice is a “safe haven” to leave an in­fant.

Troup County Sher­iff's Of­fice

The new­born child was found dead in this cooler bag Sun­day along Boy Scout Road.

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