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UNIDENTIFIED

Baby found in landfill never received name, justice

Posted on October 10, 2021

Updated on October 11, 2021

Local newsUnidentified

Stock photo | Pixabay

Unidentified is a weekly series examining the more than 120 cases of unidentified human remains discovered in North Carolina. News Editor Lindell J. Kay produces each installment for The Enterprise of Spring Hope and other Restoration NewsMedia newspapers.

Click here to read previous installments in the series, along with case updates and additional resources, on Kay's Unidentified blog.

lkay@springhopeenterprise.com | 252-265-8117

PINETOPS — Mistaken for a baby doll at first, an unknown dead newborn wrapped in a plastic bag turned up at the Edgecombe County Landfill nearly three decades ago.

A sanitation worker arrived at the Sparta Road landfill early on the morning of Feb. 25, 1994. He noticed a plastic Food Lion bag with what he thought might be a doll’s leg sticking out.

When he opened the bag to be sure, he found a dead newborn baby wrapped in floral print curtains.

The discarded baby’s cause of death isn’t known, but the child had been in the trash for about a day, according to medical examiner reports.

Surrounding trash probably originated from a dumpster at Edgecombe Community College, but it also could have been from Tarboro, from the Heritage Hospital now known as Vidant Edgecombe Hospital, or from the unincorporated Crisp, Pitts Crossroads or Triangle communities.

Lending credence to ECC being the dumping ground, witnesses told authorities they saw a woman drive up in a blue car and look in and around the dumpster the day before the baby was found. They remembered the woman because it was raining as she rummaged through the dumpster, according to archived news reports.

No case is too old to be investigated, said Lt. Wilson Muse of the Edgecombe County Sheriff’s Office.

“We will thoroughly investigate all tips received and try to find justice for the victims and their families in all cold cases,” Muse said.

Washed ashore, unearthed in shallow graves, stumbled upon in the woods, discovered in abandoned houses, killed on busy roads and located in rivers, ponds and along railroad tracks, more than 100 bodies remain unidentified in North Carolina. This is one of their stories.

The discarded baby was white, possibly Hispanic or mixed-race. The child’s gender hasn’t been revealed, if it’s known to authorities.

Twenty-one inches long and weighing nearly 7 pounds, the discarded baby appeared well-nourished with thick black hair and brown eyes.

Dentals, fingerprints and DNA aren’t available for comparison, according to information from the Doe Network, a volunteer-run international clearinghouse for unidentified and missing persons.

The discarded baby’s case number in the National Missing and Unidentified Person System is 2789.

Anyone with information about the case can call the Edgecombe County Sheriff’s Office at 252-641-7911.

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