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Deputies say baby will be buried next week

March 26, 2004|by DAVE McMILLION

charlestown@herald-mail.com

CHARLES TOWN, W.Va. - Jefferson County Sheriff's Department investigators said Thursday that a newborn baby found dead under the U.S. 340 bridge near Harpers Ferry, W.Va., Sunday will be buried soon.

The baby, who members of the sheriff's department have named "Baby Christian," is expected to be buried early next week at Edge Hill Cemetery off East Congress Street in Charles Town, Sgt. Sam Harmon said.

Cpl. Dave Colbert said earlier this week that the baby would not be buried until the case is resolved, a process that could take several years.

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Harmon said the baby is being buried for several reasons, one being that the state Medical Examiner's office can keep the body for only 10 days.

Harmon said Thursday that burying the baby now will not affect the investigation into the death.

DNA has been collected from the body, Harmon said. That could allow investigators to link the baby with a suspect if one is located.

Harmon is handling the funeral arrangements. The service will be conducted by Eackles-Spencer Funeral Home in Harpers Ferry, Harmon said.

The funeral home has agreed to foot the bill for its services, Harmon said.

Edge Hill Cemetery has donated a plot for the baby, he said.

Sheriff's department officials will serve as pallbearers for the funeral, Harmon said.

The baby was found Sunday afternoon by a Harpers Ferry National Historical Park ranger, deputies said.

The body, with the umbilical cord attached, was wrapped in a pink sheet, then a white sheet, Harmon said. The bundle was placed into a garbage bag with three 5-pound dumbbells and tied, said Harmon.

That bag was placed into another plastic garbage bag, which was loosely tied, Harmon said. Investigators believe someone was trying to throw the bag into the river.

Sheriff's department officials said Wednesday they were encouraged with the progress of the investigation.

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