(Posted June 20, 2023)
By Kristy Zurbrick, Madison Editor
The Plain City Division of Police has made funeral arrangements for an unidentified female infant found deceased in a garbage truck on June 15 in Plain City.
“Madison Baby Doe” will be put to rest on June 24. Calling hours are 9-10 a.m. at Ferguson’s Funeral Home, Plain City. Following calling hours, a procession will take place from the funeral home to Forest Grove Cemetery where Plain City Police Chaplain Martin Guerena will officiate a graveside service.
Ferguson’s Funeral Home is donating the funeral services, Longstretch Monument is donating the headstone, and Darby Township is donating the burial plot.
“We are asking that the public help us honor the life of Madison Baby Doe. She deserved far more than she received. So, please honor her by coming to the funeral home, lining the procession route, and by attending the graveside service,” said Plain City Police Chief Dale McKee in a press release issued on June 20.
The police department is leading the investigation into the infant’s death. They first received a call at 2:19 p.m. June 15 from the village’s contracted refuse company. While working a regular route in the village, the company found a human body in the rear hopper/collection point of the refuse truck.
Officers responded to the 100 block of Bluestem Lane where they located the body of an infant that appeared to be a full-term newborn with the umbilical cord still attached. Medics from Pleasant Valley Joint Fire District pronounced the infant deceased at 2:33 p.m. The Madison County Coroner’s Office and Ohio Bureau of Criminal Investigation (BCI) were called to the scene.
An autopsy was performed on June 16 by the Montgomery County Medical Examiner’s Office. The autopsy did not reveal an immediately known cause of death. Plain City Police submitted evidence obtained during the autopsy to BCI for DNA analysis.
“Our office is fielding many tips, and we are reviewing video from numerous sources in an attempt to locate evidence or witnesses regarding the infant being placed in the trash can,” McKee stated.
“At this time, we are focused on identifying the infant and determining what led to the infant’s death, but we are also concerned about the health of the mother due to the strong potential that the baby was born without professional healthcare assistance.”
Anyone with information about the case, especially information about anyone who is postpartum and the location of the baby is unknown, is encouraged to contact Plain City Police at firstname.lastname@example.org, (614) 873-2921, or via the tip function on the department’s smart phone app.
“Our partners and colleagues at the Madison County Coroner’s Office, the Madison County Sheriff’s Office, the Madison County Prosecutor’s Office, and the Pleasant Valley Joint Fire District have all been instrumental in this very tragic and extremely emotional process. There has been an outpouring of support from the public,” McKee stated.
The police department and Plain City Mayor Jody Carney have shared resource information for anyone who is struggling with pregnancy or parenting. Under Ohio law, infants 30 days old or younger can be anonymously relinquished at any police department, fire department, or hospital.
Other resources include:
• Emergencies: 911
• Ohio Suicide and Crisis Lifeline: 988
• National Safe Haven Alliance: 888-510-BABY
• Madison County Department of Families & Children First: (740) 852-5343
• Madison County Healthy Child and Family Consortium: (740) 852-7052
• New Path Pregnancy Resource Center (Marysville): (937) 642-5683
• Union County Department of Children Services: (937) 644-1010
• Mommies Matter: (614) 723-9308
• Central Ohio Action for Children: (855) 418-3322.