Sacto 9-1-1
July 8, 2013
Dead baby found in Roseville park

Roseville investigators are urging the mother of a newborn found dead early Monday in a city park to come forward and share her story.

The body of a newborn, believed to be full-term, was found shortly before 8 a.m. by park workers at Saugstad Park, which is west on Interstate 80 and on the south side of Douglas Boulevard from Royer Park, officials said.

"We're treating it as a homicide. I'd appeal to the mother to come forward," said Darin DeFreece, a detective with the Roseville Police Department. "DNA doesn't go away."

The baby, with the umbilical cord still attached, was packaged in a blanket and plastic bags, placed in a diaper box and hidden in some bushes near a wooded area along the bike trail, DeFreece said.

While the area gets plenty of traffic, the package would not have been easy to spot, DeFreece said.

Park workers came upon it while sweeping the area for homeless encampments, DeFreece said.

"It looked to me like the baby had been there for a couple days," he said.

Because responding officers did not want to manipulate the body before sending to the county coroner, the sex of the child has not been determined, DeFreece said.

The autopsy will also give investigators information about the health of the child before death and perhaps, most importantly, DNA information on the mother.

DeFreece and other investigators are also looking for tips from the public. Anyone with information about the incident or know of women who appeared to be pregnant, but are now without child are encouraged to call (916) 774-5070.

"This is obviously somebody who didn't have a plan. We need to know her side of the story. It would be a lot better if she came forward, rather than us having to hunt her down."

Under California's Safely Surrendered Baby Law, parents can leave a baby at a hospital or designated safe haven site within three days of an infant's birth without fear of prosecution.

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