Vermont Police Solve Sad 42-Year-Old Mystery

They find parents of dead infant, but no charges will be filed
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted May 30, 2024 2:13 PM CDT
Vermont Police Solve Sad 42-Year-Old Mystery
Stock image.   (Getty / S847)

More than 40 years after some Vermont children waiting for a school bus discovered a dead baby off the side of the road, state police have announced that they found the infant's parents and that no charges will be filed. The deceased infant was found in Northfield on April 1, 1982, per the AP. Investigators determined that the deceased baby was a recently born boy, but his identity was unknown and an autopsy was unable to determine the cause of death. Evidentiary DNA testing was not available at the time and the case remained unresolved, police said.

In 2020, state police worked with a DNA company to do a genealogical analysis, with the work funded by donations. In 2021, the company provided possible names of the baby's biological mother and father, who had ties to the Northfield area in 1982.

  • The father: Vermont State Police said they contacted the individuals at their home in Maine and obtained DNA from them, which confirmed they were the parents. The father told police he left Vermont for an extended period in 1982 and did not know about the pregnancy or disposal of the deceased baby.
  • The mother: She admitted that she unlawfully disposed of the deceased infant. She said she did not know she was pregnant and did not have any symptoms until she began to feel abdominal pain. She labored alone for several hours and lost consciousness, she told police. She said when she came to, she realized she had delivered a baby but the umbilical cord was wrapped around his neck and he did not survive. She said she planned to find a spot in the woods to bury him, but while walking in the woods she thought she heard voices and got scared. She slipped and the baby fell from her arms and she ran, police said.
  • No charges: State police met with the county prosecutor about the case, who determined that charges of murder were unwarranted. Charges related to the unauthorized disposal of a dead body are beyond the statute of limitations.

(More cold cases stories.)

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