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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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.”