By Dave Andrusko
For the fourth time in three months, authorities in Southern California have found an abandoned baby. For the third time, the baby was dead, her body stuffed in a garbage dumpster, according to News10/KXTV
A neighbor, collecting cans from the dumpster, found the baby Sunday afternoon. “They said the fetus looked like the mother had to have been in her third trimester,” witness Alexandra Hurtado told Carlos Saucedo.
Following an autopsy, Stockton police reported the baby was a girl at approximately 27 weeks gestation. “The death was considered suspicious but police wouldn’t elaborate,” CNN reported.
As of Tuesday, it was still unknown if the baby had been “alive, stillborn, or something worse,” as KXTV anchor Nick Monacelli said, presumably an allusion to an abortion.
According to reporter Saucedo, news of the grisly discovery spread quickly through the apartment complex, “leaving residents in shock.”
“I didn’t believe it so I looked too, as well,” Christina Chavez said. “Me being 17 weeks pregnant was very shocking to find a dead infant.” The baby was found right behind Chavez’s apartment.
An infuriated Chavez told KXTV, “When I seen, I cried. I mean it’s a baby. It’s an innocent baby that wasn’t even asked to be brought here and had to be dumped in a dumpster like it’s garbage.”
Some witnesses told local reporters that earlier in the day they saw a suspicious couple wearing hoodies walking away from the dumpster.
“I don’t understand how anybody can do that to a child. I don’t care what the situation is,” Hurtado said.
Although “she’s not my baby,” Chavez said, “I did name the baby ‘Heaven’ because that’s where the baby is going.”
Alas, there is more. Back in December, Regina Zimmer bid $40 on an abandoned storage unit in Colfax, California.
But after going through the contents and coming upon a storage ottoman, tape-sealed and with a “fragile” sticker on top, she “had a feeling it wasn’t something good.”
Zimmer, who went through the unit with her son in November, told CNN affiliate KOVR that “as soon as we opened it and took the lid off, the smell was horrible.”
Inside, she said, there were garbage bags and a stuffed animal. She told affiliate KTXL that she also came upon a red sleeping bag with more bags inside.
She called the Placer County Sheriff’s Office. Deputies said that while “investigating the contents of a container,” they “discovered the decomposing remains of a fetus or small infant.”
“You could tell it was a skull and a little jaw bone and hair,” Zimmer said.
Police say the container was taken to the county morgue, where authorities say they found “a second fetus or small infant” inside. Autopsies are being performed on both of the bodies.
Fortunately, another baby who was found in a dumpster in Merced, California, October 9 was alive. . She was wrapped in a towel, her umbilical cord still attached. According to the Los Angeles Times
Jimmy Alvarez, who lived nearby and arrived on the scene after the man who found the baby called for help, said the baby was covered in gnats and trash, so he reached into the trash bin, removed the child and wrapped her in his shirt, KOVR-TV in Sacramento reported.
Emergency medical personnel believe the baby had been inside the dumpster for at least 45 minutes, [Merced Police Capt. Tom] Trindad said.
The mother was quickly tracked down. She was 13 years old and told police she
“knew she was pregnant before leaving her baby inside the large dumpster Trindad said. The girl’s mother, however, was apparently not aware of the pregnancy.”