Autopsy report released for ‘Madison Baby Doe’; investigation continues

(Posted Dec. 20, 2023)

By Kristy Zurbrick, Madison Editor

An autopsy report, released on Dec. 12, states the cause of death as “undetermined” for a newborn baby found deceased in a garbage truck in Plain City on June 15.

Madison County Coroner James W. Kaehr, M.D., stated the body of the unidentified female infant, referred to as “Madison Baby Doe,” demonstrated many injuries and abnormalities.

“Several of these could cause death even if they were the only abnormality present,” Kaehr said. “Without having more information regarding when and how each abnormality developed, we are unable to determine with reasonable certainty which one–or combination–ultimately resulted in Madison’s death.”

The autopsy report states the umbilical cord and placenta were attached, and there was evidence of a live birth. There was blunt force trauma to the head, neck, torso, pelvis, and extremities. The report lists multiple lacerations, fractures, and contusions.

According to the toxicology report, caffeine was the only drug found in the infant’s system.

The Montgomery County Coroner’s Office performed the autopsy and toxicology testing in the days and weeks after the infant was found. The Madison County Coroner’s Office, Plain City Police Department, and Madison County Prosecutor’s Office waited until recently to release the reports in order to maintain the integrity of the investigation in its early stages, Kaehr said.

The investigation is ongoing. The Ohio Bureau of Criminal Investigation is handling evidence processing, including processing of DNA obtained at the autopsy. The Plain City Police Department is using the evidence to direct its investigation.

“We’re hoping by releasing the (autopsy) report, it gets people thinking again about the case. We know there’s somebody out there that knows something about it,” said Plain City Police Chief Dale McKee.

Any witness who might have information about Madison Baby Doe’s birth, death, or family is asked to contact the Plain City Police Department at (614) 873-2921 or Central Ohio Crime Stoppers at (614) 461-8477. Anonymous tips can be submitted online at www.stopcrime.org. A reward is being offered for information that permits authorities to solve the case.

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