Chesterton Tribune



Restroom discovery prompts search for newborn on bike trail

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The Chesterton Police Department is investigating the possibility that afterbirth found Wednesday in a portable toilet on the Prairie Duneland Trail may be connected to an infant left Tuesday night in a Safe Haven Baby Box at the Coolspring Township Volunteer Fire Department (CTVFD) in LaPorte County.

According to police, at 1:30 p.m. a passerby observed in the portable toilet in the parking lot off Babcock Road--adjacent to the Golfview subdivision--the “remains of a newborn human birthing process.” Those remains were found in the toilet’s tank, police said.

The afterbirth was removed and a subsequent search of the tank by responding officers “did not reveal any other items or parts or discarded materials,” police said.

Officers--assisted by Chesterton and Burns Harbor fire departments, the Chesterton Street Department, and the Porter Police Department--then conducted a search of the immediate area but “nothing of evidentiary value was recovered,” police said.

The CPD is treating the incident as an active--but not a criminal--case, Police Chief Dave Cincoski told the Chesterton Tribune this morning. “At the present time of the investigation, the department’s intent is to determine the health and welfare of the parties involved,” he said.

Anyone with information which might assist the CPD is asked to contact Sgt. Dan Rocha of the Duneland investigations Division at (219) 926-1136.

Safe Haven Baby?

Cincoski did say that one avenue in the investigation is the possibility that Wednesday’s discovery is related to the infant left at the CTVFD’s Safe Haven Baby Box on Tuesday night. That baby was transported to hospital in Michigan City and is believed to be healthy.

Safe Haven Baby Boxes--there are two in the state, the one at the CTVFD and another in Woodburn, Ind.--were created by Woodburn resident Monica Kelsey, according to the organization’s website.

Under the state’s Save Haven Law--as explained by the Indiana Department of Child Services (DCS) on its website--persons are able to “give up an unwanted infant anonymously without fear of arrest or prosecution.”

“As long as there are no signs of intentional abuse on the baby, no information is required of the person leaving the baby,” DCS states. “Any knowledge of the date of birth, race, parent medical history, child’s health, or anything that would be useful to the child’s caregiver would be greatly appreciated.”

Once the baby is examined by medical professionals, DCS takes custody of the child to place with a caregiver.

Kelsey developed the Safe Haven Baby Box “to take the face-to-face interaction out of the surrender.” Or as the website states, “No Shame, No Blame, No Names.”


Posted 11/9/2017




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