Officials in northern Ohio fear they face a difficult job investigating the case of an infant whose remains were found in the trunk of a car Tuesday afternoon.
Assistant Prosecutor Gary Bishop of the Richland County Prosecutor’s Office said, “It’s too soon to determine,” whether criminal charges will be brought in the grisly case. Those at his office are awaiting results of an autopsy to move forward.
The body was discovered by employees of an automotive repair shop in Shelby as they worked on a white Mazda. According to Shelby Police Chief Charlie Roub, the infant was found wrapped in a towel in a copy paper box, inside the car’s trunk. Chief Roub said it appeared the child had been dead since possibly January, an estimation backed up by medical officials.
Gary Guenther of the Summit County Medical Examiner’s Office, where the autopsy is being performed, said the body is “badly decomposed.” He couldn’t estimate when the procedure will be finished but said the state of the remains means it will be more difficult than usual.
According to police, a 17-year-old girl came forward last night telling them she was the baby’s mother. Chief Roub said she told investigators she “didn’t know she was pregnant and had the child at home.” The girl, a local resident, was not taken into custody, according to Roub.
Bishop said whether or not the child was a stillborn or healthy birth is unclear but could be a crucial detail in whether or not charges are filed. He said that all “depends a lot on what the autopsy reveals.” At this point, Bishop said, “We’re not going to jump to conclusions before all the facts have been revealed.”
Shelby is about 151 miles northeast of Dayton.