Dead baby found abandoned in ditch

A makeshift memorial was put up Thursday for the dead infant found Wednesday in South Kitsap. - Jesse Beals/Staff Photo
A makeshift memorial was put up Thursday for the dead infant found Wednesday in South Kitsap.
— image credit: Jesse Beals/Staff Photo

A dead infant was discovered on the side of a road in South Kitsap on Wednesday afternoon, according to the Kitsap County Sheriff’s Office.

Spokesman Deputy Scott Wilson said two teenagers discovered the body after deciding to investigate an object they noticed lying in a ditch across the street on the 3300 block of Bielmeier Rd., near Strawberry Hill Park.

Once the girls, both 16, realized what they found, Wilson said they ran into a house and called 911.

Shortly after the girls’ call around 4:25 p.m., Wilson said a man who had driven by the scene and examined the remains also called authorities.

“He was driving by and saw the girls’ reaction to what they found, and stopped to see what was going on,” Wilson said.

Wilson said the first authorities on-scene were emergency personnel from South Kitsap Fire and Rescue, who determined the infant was deceased.

Sheriff’s detectives were then on-scene for several hours collecting evidence and conducting interviews.

Wilson said an autopsy on the baby, which was an apparent full-term newborn, was performed by the Kitsap County Coroner’s Office on Thursday morning. He said both cause and manner of death were pending.

“They are awaiting the results of lab tests,” Wilson said, explaining that if examiners know how much oxygen was in the baby’s lungs, they can determine if it was alive after birth, and for how long.

Wilson said he could not release the gender of the baby, but said it was Caucasian.

The Sheriff’s Office is still investigating how the infant came to be left there, and for how long. He said his office has not ruled out anyone as a suspect, but as of Thursday it did not have any definitive leads on who the mother of the child might be or who might have discarded the infant.

“Right now, we are asking for the public’s help in finding the mother,” he said. “We are concerned about her health and welfare, and what her physical and mental state might be.”

Anyone with information regarding the mother or child is asked to call Det. Mike Rodrigue at (360) 337-4479. Those wishing to remain anonymous call CRIME STOPPERS at 800-CRIME13.

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