Local News

New Clues Released in 'Baby Michael' Case

Posted March 1, 2001

— Two years after a newborn baby was found dead along the side of a rural Cumberland County road, investigators released new information they hope will bring them closer to solving the crime.

Investigators first thought the newborn, who has come to be known as "Baby Michael," died of exposure. After further forensic testing, they now believe the baby died of blunt trauma.

"We feel very strongly...that the baby was killed prior to being put on the highway -- that it did not die as a result of hitting the highway. The injuries are too massive and too severe," says Lt. Sam Pennica of the Cumberland County Sheriff's Office.

In the trash bag where Baby Michael was found, deputies recovered DNA evidence that has been entered into a national database. They also found a hair that could help identify the mother -- possibly a woman named Lisa from South Carolina.

At this time, investigators are not ruling out any women who are white or Lumbee Indian. They have also asked for the public's help.

Detectives are hanging up new posters to keep the case in everyone's minds. They are also re-interviewing people in the Grays Creek Community.

They ask that anyone who knows of a woman who was close to giving birth in March of 1999, who was seen without a child soon after, to call authorities:

  • Cumberland County Sheriff's Office:910-323-1500
  • Fayetteville/Cumberland CrimeStoppers:910-483-8477

    A $6,000 reward remains for information leading to an arrest.

    A public memorial service for Baby Michael is scheduled for Saturday at noon at Harris Chapel Church in Linden.

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