Baby John Nash case entered into NamUs | The Enterprise
The Enterprise
Login
SearchHelpSubscriptions

Baby John Nash case entered into NamUs

Posted on April 30, 2022

Updated on May 2, 2022

Local newsUnidentified
A homeless man digging for food in a Rocky Mount dumpster in 2007 discovered the body of an unidentified baby boy covered by this plastic Cheetos bucket that investigators believe may be a clue in the case.

Contributed photo

A homeless man digging for food in a Rocky Mount dumpster in 2007 discovered the body of an unidentified baby boy covered by this plastic Cheetos bucket that investigators believe may be a clue in the case.

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

ROCKY MOUNT — Fifteen years after the discovery of a baby boy’s dead body in a dumpster, information in the case has finally been added to a national database of unidentified remains.

Baby John Nash, a day-old infant, had an elastic hair band tied around his neck and died of “ligature strangulation,” as first reported by The Enterprise last year.

Named Baby because of his age, John because it’s a common name often assigned to unidentified male bodies and Nash because of the county in which he was found, the infant’s homicide came two years before the creation of NamUs, a clearinghouse of unsolved missing and unidentified person cases. A recently passed state law requires authorities to enter such cases into NamUs; however, it’s not retroactive. That means investigators are required to enter any new cases but not pre-existing older cases.

Although not required for older cases, entering information into NamUs pays dividends for detectives. Since its inception, NamUs has helped law enforcement solve 57 unidentified body cases in North Carolina.

The writer of this report has questioned authorities in Rocky Mount over the past few years with no clear answer as to why Baby John Nash’s case wasn’t listed in NamUs.

The database created case No. UP90811 on April 26 for Baby John Nash. The case details were submitted by Nate Thompson, assistant special agent in charge of the N.C. State Bureau of Investigation’s Cold Case Unit.

DNA in the case may soon lead to resolution. Leslie Kaufman, a forensic genealogist who often volunteers her services to help law enforcement solve cold cases, is now working with the Rocky Mount Police Department on the Baby John Nash case.

In the past two years, forensic genealogists have helped solve two unidentified dead baby cases in North Carolina, one in Fayetteville and one in Nags Head. Parents in both cases are awaiting trial for criminal charges related to a baby’s death.

The Baby John Nash case began when a homeless man looking for food dug through a dumpster behind a shopping center on Harbor West Drive on Feb. 7, 2007. He found a baby body that weighed 7 pounds. 

Another piece of evidence that may one day lead to the baby’s killer: Medical examiner Karen Vick discovered a single strand of long, dark hair beneath the hair band turned murder weapon. DNA technology could one day advance to the point the hair sample could be used to help identify a suspect. The hair could be used now to match to a suspect developed through other means.

NamUs lists Baby John Nash as having the agency case number of 2007-001601. The lead detective is listed as Curtis Robinson with the Rocky Mount Police Department.

The only information provided by NamUs as to the circumstances of the case is “infant found in trash dumpster behind a Food Lion.”

Whether washed ashore, unearthed in shallow graves, stumbled upon in the woods, discovered in abandoned houses, killed on busy roads or located in rivers, ponds and along railroad tracks, more than 120 bodies remain unidentified in North Carolina. This is one of their stories. Anyone with information about Baby John Nash’s identity is asked to call the Rocky Mount Police Department at 252-972-1450, Twin County Crime Stoppers at 910-892-2222 or Team Cold Case at 252-406-6736. A monetary reward is available.

Editor’s note: 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.

More Local news

This photo shows Nash UNC Health Care's Nash General Hospital entrance in Rocky Mount.

Nash UNC Health Care to host annual Healthy Heart Fair

From staff reports
| May 21, 2022

ROCKY MOUNT — Nash UNC Health Care is set to host its fourth annual Healthy Heart Fair next week. Sc...

City apartment fire ruled accidental

For The Enterprise
| May 21, 2022

ROCKY MOUNT — The Rocky Mount Fire Department responded to reports of a residential structure fire a...

Fiber optic network coming to Rocky Mount

For The Enterprise
| May 20, 2022

ROCKY MOUNT — Metronet and city officials have announced a partnership that will soon bring ultra-hi...


Local News

Powered by Nash & Pine | v4.2.4