‘Baby Doe’ still waiting to be claimed, buried

A burial plot is waiting for the newborn found abandoned on a busy South Kitsap road during April, but officials would still like to find out his or her identity before putting “Baby Doe” to rest.

“The question came up, ‘How long do we hold onto Baby Doe?’” said Kitsap County Sheriff’s Office spokesman Deputy Scott Wilson, explaining that his office would rather locate the birth mother and perhaps have a family member bury the infant than just have “an arbitrary marker without any sort of name.”

Since the baby — whose sex has not been officially released by the Sheriff’s Office — was found the afternoon of April 4 on the 3300 block of Bielmeier Road, Wilson said his office has received numerous tips regarding the potential parentage of the baby.

“We have investigated them, and none has proved to be substantiated,” he said.

Deputy Chief Coroner Al Gerdes said that his office does not have a standard timeline as to how long they wait before burying indigent, or unclaimed, persons.

“We usually coordinate with the Sheriff’s Office, and wait as long as their investigation is still open,” Gerdes said, explaining that his office contracts with Rill Chapel, part of the Pendleton Gilchrist Funeral Home and Crematory, for the burial of unclaimed persons found in the South Kitsap area.

David Rill said that usually when his funeral home handles such cases for the county, indigent persons are cremated.

“In this case, we’ve agree to help with an actual burial and creation of a memorial marker, which is typically not done with indigent persons,” Rill said, explaining that the cost of a burial for Baby Doe will be more than the county’s standard payment for such cases.

To date, Rill said he was not aware of any donation drives for the baby’s memorial.

The dead infant was found in a plastic bag by two teen-aged girls near Strawberry Hill Park on April 4.

Shortly after the girls’ 911-call around 4:25 p.m., Wilson said a man who had driven by the scene and examined the remains also called authorities.

Wilson said that an autopsy revealed that the baby was an apparent full-term, caucasian newborn.

Anyone with information regarding the mother or child is asked to call Det. Mike Rodrigue at (360) 337-4479.

Those wishing to remain anonymous can call Crime Stoppers at 800-CRIME13.

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