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Friday, May 6, 2016

Reward set in baby death case

Monday, June 10, 2002

The Buena Vista County Sheriff's Department is offering a reward for information leading to the identification of the mother of a baby found dead in the Harold Rowley Recycling Center last week.

Despite repeated pleas, not a single tip has been received from the public to help the investigation, Sheriff Chuck Eddy said. "We're still waiting for calls. We need the public's help, and we will be offering a reward."

The amount of the reward had not been set at presstime.

Sheriff's employees have also blanketed the Storm Lake area Thursday and Friday, posting flyers in numerous locations in English, Spanish and Laotian.

Hopes that a set of old business timecards found near the baby's remains would turn out to be a valuable clue have fizzled.

The timecards have been traced to a particular business located out of the county. They were brought to Storm Lake where the owners of the business reside, and disposed of in the south part of Storm Lake. However, other items found near the baby have been traced to the Storm Lake business district and from around the Newell community. "It hasn't narrowed our search for the place where the baby was originally discarded much," Eddy said.

Officers continue to trace down all expecting mothers from the time period the baby was born, around May 28-30. The baby was born 24-48 hours before it was found in a recycling line trash chute at the recycling center.

"All the mothers from the local hospital and clinic cases have checked out okay," Eddy said. Officers are still looking for a few mothers through Department of Human Services files who they have been unable to contact, and are still hoping to obtain files from Planned Parenthood agency to check against their other lists of expecting mothers.

The medical examiner's full report on the body, badly damaged by the machinery at the recycling plant, could take weeks, Eddy said. Officers hope that the autopsy will at least determine the race of the child and possibilities on the cause of death.

"It is also important for us to know whether the baby was born alive or not, because that would make a difference on the potential charges," Eddy said.

If the baby was alive when discarded, charges could range up to Murder against the person responsible. If the child was a stillborn, charges could be only Improper Disposal of Human Remains, the sheriff said.

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