Local News

Police: Newborn Found in Trash Bin Was Killed

Posted February 12, 2007 3:19 p.m. EST
Updated February 12, 2007 5:42 p.m. EST

— Police on Monday declared that the case of a dead newborn found in a Dumpster in Rocky Mount last week is a homicide.

The medical examiner determined the infant was a white boy who was 2 days old. The baby was found Feb. 7 by a person looking for recyclable cans behind the Food Lion in the River's Edge shopping center off U.S. Highway 301.

Police said the infant was not wearing any clothes and the umbilical cord was still attached.

"Based off information provided by the medical examiner's office, this case is now being investigated as a homicide. I want to make it clear this is not a case of an abandoned child or a stillborn case. This is a homicide," said Detective Mike Lewis of the Rocky Mount Police Department.

Authorities haven't disclosed the cause of death, and police said the infant might have been killed elsewhere and dumped in Rocky Mount.

Investigators found an additional clue near the child in the Dumpster -- a large plastic Cheetos bucket. The particular style of bucket was made only in 2005 and distributed only to Sam’s Clubs and BJ’s Warehouses.

Rocky Mount didn't have either of those warehouse clubs in 2005, although a Sam's Club recently opened in town.

Police have received some leads from the public. A $10,000 reward also has been established with money donated by the police department and from inidividuals.

"That is a high-traveled area. There is a lot of pedestrian traffic in that area. It's a shopping center, and it would have been very possible for someone to have seen something in that area," Lewis said.

The newborn's body remains in the custody of the medical examiner's office. But members of the community have already requested the chance to offer the infant a proper burial if the parents aren't located.