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Body found in bin was near full-term girl

May 11, 2000|By RICHARD F. BELISLE, Waynesboro

CHAMBERSBURG, Pa. - Initial findings from an autopsy performed Thursday on the body of an infant found the night before in a trash bin in Chambersburg showed it was that of a near full-term baby girl, Franklin County Coroner Jeffrey R. Connor said.

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There was no obvious sign of trauma, Connor said.

The exact cause of death won't be known for at least four or five weeks, pending the outcome of a more thorough pathological examination, Connor said.

"That's standard procedure," he said.

He said the baby's race had not been determined.

"We're not treating this as a homicide at this time," Chambersburg Police Chief Michael DeFrank said at a press conference Thursday.

He said if evidence showed otherwise he would turn the case over to the district attorney's office.

DeFrank said the case will be one of the most difficult to solve in his 18 years on the force. "This is a most unusual kind of case. We have few leads."

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He said police don't know if the body was dumped by someone local or by someone passing through on Interstate 81.

He described the South Main Street neighborhood where the body was found as being close-knit. If residents there knew anything about the baby they would come forward, he said.

Some boys found the body in a trash bin behind Keystone Car Wash at 766 S. Main St., around 7 p.m. Wednesday, police said. The boys routinely dump trash in the bin as part of their jobs at the car wash.

DeFrank wouldn't comment on what, if any, clothes were on the body.

Connor said he believes the body could have been in the trash bin for as long as a week.

The trash bin is routinely emptied on Thursdays, police said.

Also participating in the press conference were Det. Sgt. Diane Kelso and Angela Krom, assistant district attorney for Franklin County.

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