INDIANAPOLIS - Detectives with the Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department are investigating the discovery of a deceased infant found in a creek, officials said.
Police said IMPD officers responded to a 911 call that someone had discovered a body just after 11 a.m. Sunday morning.
Officers arrived and found the infant's body in a creek in the 1500 block of Fenwick Avenue, police said.
On Monday, IMPD Sgt. Linda Jackson said that investigators were still working with the Marion County Coroner's Office and that the male infant appeared to be white or possibly bi-racial. The infant's cause of death had not yet been released, Jackson said.
Officials said the baby's umbilical cord was not attached.
The coroner's office did not find water in the baby's lungs, meaning he was dead before being discarded in the creek.
Witnesses told RTV6 that police searched the banks of the creek for hours looking for clues about where the baby came from.
"From what police said, they thought the baby could have been dumped someplace, maybe 16th Street or maybe further down, but that's highly unlikely because there's branches and sand bars and stuff," said neighbor Chuck Jackson.
Investigators said the infant was submerged in 14 inches of water, and they said they think the baby was placed in the water close to the location where he was found.
Neighbors said a man was standing in his backyard when something suspicious caught his attention in the distance.
"It's horrifying, just horrifying that someone could do that to a child. There's just too many places to go. Lay it on a person's doorstep if nothing else and knock on the door and run," neighbor Terri Maple said.
Indiana has a Safe Haven Law, meaning that any mother unable to care for her newborn can drop the child off at any hospital, clinic, police or fire station. A distressed parent can give up the unwanted child safely, legally and confidentially without fear of prosecution.
"If you're not in a place to care for that child, to provide this child with a safe and loving home, I think it is perhaps one of the greatest acts that a parent could ever engage in," said Deputy Prosecutor Kristina Korobov, about the state's Safe Haven law.
Detectives are searching for anyone that may have information about the incident and urge them to call Crime Stoppers at (317) 262-TIPS (8477). Callers can also text “INDYCS” plus tip information to 274627 (CRIMES).
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