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Mother of dead baby named

May 18, 2000|By DON AINES

CHAMBERSBURG, Pa. - A 20-year-old Chambersburg woman has been identified as the mother of a dead infant girl found in the trash behind a borough car wash last week, according to Franklin County Coroner Jeffrey R. Conner.

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"Just one week after the remains of an infant/fetus, found dumped in a trash receptacle were discovered, the mother has been identified," Conner said Thursday in a prepared statement.

He identified the woman as Autumn N. Flythe, 20, of 144 Hamilton Road, Chambersburg.

No charges have been filed in the matter, Conner said.

"The investigation is nowhere near complete," Conner said.

"Therefore, at this time, no other details of the event will be released, so as not to jeopardize the investigation," he said.

Conner and police would not release additional information about Flythe, who lives with her parents, according to voter registration records. A message left on the Flythe's telephone answering machine was not returned Thursday evening. "We are investigating the circumstances surrounding the birth of the child, the death of the child," and how the body came to be placed in the trash bin, Chambersburg Police Department Detective Sgt. Dianne Kelso said Thursday.

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She said the department would not release any specific information about the investigation.

Conner would not comment on why he decided to release the name Thursday. He said he has custody of the infant's body and that any funeral arrangements are in the hands of the family.

Business and individual donations had been made for a memorial service at the Thomas L. Geisel Funeral Home Inc. and burial in Lincoln Cemetery in Chambersburg.

Pregnancy Ministries Inc., a crisis pregnancy center that helped organize the donations and services, said Wednesday night that both services were canceled.

"Because the mother had been found we agreed to cancel both services at the request of the Flythe family," Pregnancy Ministries Education Coordinator Sherry Cline said Thursday.

The body of the near full-term infant was discovered by two youths working at the Keystone Car Wash, 766 S. Main St., on the night of Wednesday, May 10. An autopsy was performed the next day on the decomposed body, but Conner said further pathological tests had to be completed before a cause of death could be determined.

At a press conference last week Conner said the baby may have been dead for as long as a week before it was discovered.

Thursday afternoon at the Chambersburg offices of Pregnancy Ministries there was a floral arrangement and teddy bear that had been donated for the services. The ribbon on the arrangement had "Baby Grace" on it in gold leaf.

Baby Grace was the name Pregnancy Ministries had given the infant before the mother was identified.

Local donations received for the Baby Grace funeral services will now be used for Pregnancy Ministries education and awareness programs.

Those wishing their donations be returned can contact Pregnancy Ministries at 717-267-3738, Cline said.

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