Baby found in trash probably died at birth
The death of “Guadalupe,” the infant whose body was found Nov. 16 by workers at the Eastern Regional Transfer Station, was tragic but probably not deliberate, according to a report released this week by the Placer County Sheriff’s Office.
Although the definitive cause of her death is still unknown, the autopsy report indicates that Guadalupe probably died during childbirth.
“Detectives and pathologists believe that ‘Baby Guadalupe’ died in a feet first, breach birth,” Sgt. Bill Langton announced Wednesday. “This type of birth can be very difficult even during clinical conditions. During this birth, probably in an attempt to pull the baby free of the birth canal, the spine was severed as well as the baby’s trachea. This would have caused the instant death of the child.”
Investigators say it appears the infant was initially buried and then dug up and placed in a dark-colored trash bag, which was placed into a large compacting trash bin located at the Squaw Valley Ski Resort.
“Although accessible by the public, this large container is not readily recognizable as a trash container,” Langton wrote. “Detectives have been working in cooperation with officials of the ski resort for any possible connection there. So far, none has been made.”
Langton said that the birth was obviously a life threatening situation for the mother as well as the infant.
“Detectives feel this may have been a situation of sheer panic and for whatever reason the involved person or persons attempted to dispose of the remains without thinking clearly,” he said. “It may be possible that the only criminal violation would be of a Health and Safety code section that deals with the improper disposal of human remains.”
He said detectives urge the mother to come forward so that the incident can be cleared, and that anyone with information should contact investigator Lori Ziegler at (530) 581-6324.
The discovery of the infant’s body at the transfer station, just south of Truckee off State Route 89, prompted an outpouring of support from the transfer station workers, its owners and the community. She was found by a worker who was sorting recyclable items out of the trash.
The workers at the facility were so touched by the sight that they informally adopted the brown-haired, brown-eyed infant, naming her “Guadalupe.” The transfer station’s owners paid for her burial, and Joe and M. Clare Aguera of Truckee-Tahoe Mortuary contributed their services.
More than 200 people packed the Assumption Catholic Church last month to attend a memorial service for Guadalupe. The company paid for the funeral expenses.
Flowers were donated by Truckee businesses and individuals, and even the workers who built her casket in Sacramento provided their services at no charge.
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