Cross damaged at site where infant's body found
Posted March 3, 2011 11:30 a.m. EST
Updated March 3, 2011 7:46 p.m. EST
Fayetteville, N.C. — A cross that marks where an infant's body was found along a Cumberland County road 12 years ago was damaged early Thursday, authorities said.
The 1-day-old baby died of blunt force trauma in March 1999, and his body was put into a bag and tossed to the side of Canady Pond Road in Gray's Creek, authorities said.
Investigators have never determined the identity of the child, whom they named "Baby Michael," or exactly how he died.
The man who found the child's body, Neill Fowler, placed a cross at the site as a memorial 12 years ago and has tended to it since then. He said he went to the site Thursday morning to plant a rose bush to mark the anniversary of the baby's death and found the cross had been knocked down and broken.
Fowler said he's convinced the child's mother is the person who vandalized the memorial.
"It's got to be tearing her apart. She's got to be thinking about it," he said.
Cumberland County authorities issued notices this week that Thursday would have been Baby Michael's 12th birthday to generate leads in the case. Fowler said that probably upset the mother.
"Mom can't forget either, and she's disturbed (by it), I'm praying," he said.
Investigators have said they will not close the case until its solved. A reward for information is being offered in the case, and anyone with information is asked to call the Cumberland County Sheriff's Office.
Baby Michael was given a proper burial in a cemetery in Linden.