TROUP COUNTY, Ga. (WRBL) – Investigators refuse to give up hope and continue searching for answers nearly seven months after a newborn baby girl was discovered dead inside a travel cooler in Troup County.
The heartbreaking mystery began on a cold January day. The case remains stagnant and unsettled over the wooded area along Boy Scout Road where the infant’s body was discovered. Troup County Sgt. Stewart Smith can close his eyes and still picture the travel cooler with a bright watermelon print near the woodline.
Investigators say a driver noticed the cooler for a few days as they drove by on the road. Then, on January 6, 2019, they decided to take a closer look, discovering a newborn baby girl wrapped in a towel, deceased.
“We would have hoped by now someone out of sheer quilt would have come forward and said yes, I made a mistake, what can we do to move forward,” said Sgt. Smith.
An autopsy determined the infant was a full-term white girl. There were zero signs of trauma and no apparent cause of death. The report could not determine if the baby died due to winter exposure.
Investigators say the baby may have been stillborn. A regional medical search of hospitals and doctor’s offices turned up nothing.
“Nobody reported to us hey had a patient that was pregnant that did not deliver a child, so it may not have been someone local, or it could have been someone hiding a pregnancy,” said Sgt. Smith.
Investigators still have one clue awaiting them. A DNA test from the baby that could identify a mother or father, if parents’ DNA is in the system. That report is expected back within the next few months.
In the meantime, the Troup County Sheriff’s has led a multi-state education effort on Safe Haven laws.
“We have Safe Haven laws where you can drop a child off safely. We are a location, any sheriff’s office, police department, fire department, hospital. You have to physically hand the child over to another person, you can’t leave it on the curb. From there, no questions are asked,” shared Smith.
Investigators also tried to track down where the watermelon cooler may have come from but discovered the cooler was sold in multiple stores in several states.
If anyone has any information regarding this case, you are asked to call investigators at 706-883-1616 or Crime Stoppers at 706-812-1000. A reward may be available.