Baby Dawn laid to rest a year after discovery

In the section of Sunset Lane Memorial Park reserved for those who’ve died especially young, the infant found dead on South Kitsap’s Bielmeier Road a year ago was laid to rest on Thursday.

“This is a great day for our community because it shows how much we care about someone we never even knew,” said South Kitsap Fire and Rescue Chaplain Melvin Byrd, speaking at the baby’s funeral, attended by about 20 people. “This revives our sense of community and restores our faith in the basic goodness of humans.”

Found on April 5, 2006, the newborn infant was first only called “Baby Doe.” But Kitsap County Greg Sandstrom said at the insistence of his staff, she was later named Dawn and a funeral was planned.

“Obviously, this little girl touched our community,” said David Rill of Rill Chapel, explaining that the baby was wrapped in a specially made quilt before being placed in her tiny casket.

Rill Chapel helped Sandstrom’s office pay for the service, plot, and the marker identifying her grave, which states her birthday as just days before she was discovered in a plastic bag.

“Born April 2 and found three days later, this baby was found without life, without a family and without a home,” said Byrd. “And though she was not claimed by her own kin, she is claimed by this community — so we have become her family.”

Finally, Byrd spoke to the unknown mother of the baby.

“We don’t know the circumstances that led you to leave this little girl, but we wish we could say to you that ‘God loves you, God knows what you did, and he loves you still,’ ” he said.

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