TROUP COUNTY, Ga. (WRBL) – The first week of the New Year in Troup County began with a grisly discovery, a perfectly formed female infant deceased in a watermelon print travel cooler. The January 6th discovery along a wooded area in northern Troup County, Georgia continues to shaken and sadden families.
Investigators are still asking the community to alert them if they know of any recently pregnant women who no longer have a newborn with them. Investigators say they’ve received several tips; however the information hasn’t panned out.
At this point there aren’t any strong leads into who the infant’s parents may be or how the baby came to be found deceased in the travel cooler. Still, investigators are convinced someone knows something, and are urging them to unburden themselves and share what happened.
The cooler was found along Boy Scout Road. The area is an isolated dead-end road with just a few homes off New Franklin Road. Sunday afternoon around 3:20, after seeing the bright watermelon print cooler sitting out in the open near the woodline, a passerby decided to take a closer look. The heartbreaking discovery was immediately reported to investigators.
Preliminary information from the autopsy reveals the child was a full term, white female. The child showed no apparent signs of trauma or injury and a cause of death could not be determined based on the preliminary exam.
Troup County Sgt. Stewart Smith tells News 3 investigators are now settling in for a long wait as the Department of Forensic Sciences completes more testing on the infant. It could take up to 10-months for new information to be revealed, including a DNA profile that may help investigators track down the birth mother or father.
Investigators say the Caucasian baby was not badly decomposed and appeared to be a few days or weeks old. Sgt. Smith says it doesn’t appear whoever discarded the child went to a lot of effort to hide the body. The light blue cooler covered with a watermelon slice print that zips at the top, front and sides was left in clear view from the road near the woodline.
Troup County investigators are reminding the community their sheriff’s office is just one place newborns can be dropped off with a staff member. A sign designating the Troup County Sheriff’s Office is a safe place for newborns is posted outside in the parking lot.
“This was put out here at the Troup County Sheriff’s Office as Georgia Safe Place for Newborns Act location. People need to know they can drop off a child at a fire department or a hospital and now law enforcement buildings are also under that act,” said Smith.
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.
News 3 will continue to follow this developing story.