COPY-Worker discovers body of baby in drainage ditch

Feb. 4, 2008

OPELIKA, Al (WTVM) - In East Alabama, the body of a baby was found in a drainage ditch.

The discovery was made early this morning by a maintenance worker cleaning up around the Tree Top Apartment Complex in Opelika.

As of Monday afternoon, investigators were waiting on perhaps the most most important piece of evidence in this case, and that is the cause of death. The infants body has been taken to Montgomery where an autopsy will be performed. The report is expected back Tuesday afternoon.

Meanwhile, investigators continue to search for the mother, or the person who left the baby in the ditch. Yellow crime tape and a tent mark off the area around this drain pipe, where the infant's body was discovered.

Monday morning around 9:00 a maintenance worker at the Tree Top Apartment Complex was cleaning up the grounds, when he found the baby and called police.

"The Infants body will be taken to the medical examiners office in Montgomery to determine the age and the cause of death," said Captain Allen Elkins, with the Opelika Police Department.

Investigators hung up sheets, to shield the body from onlookers and the media.

Then a few minutes later, swaddled in a white sheet, the baby was carried out and placed in a van. Investigators aren't sure if the baby was a boy or a girl.

"The child was wrapped in some type of fabric which that won't be removed, I do know the department of forensic sciences has been called into aide this investigation," Elkins said.

The Autopsy will be performed at 8:30 Tuesday morning. Investigators are counting on the results to provide them a cause of death, as well as the sex and age of the child. The autopsy will also let them know if they baby was dead or alive when it was placed in the ditch, which is critical if and when investigators find the mother.

Opelika police are asking anyone with information in this case, to please give them a call at (334) 705-5200.