Shock Grips Grand Saline after Dead Baby Found - KLTV.com - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News

11/17/02 - Van Zandt County

Shock Grips Grand Saline after Dead Baby Found

The crime scene was quiet today, but Grand Saline still struggles to understand why a baby was left lifeless on the side of the highway.

"It's terrible," longtime resident Ruby Tipps said. "I tell you what, I'll lose sleep over it. The kids will say, 'Oh mother, you can't do that.' Yes, I can."

It was Saturday afternoon when two men walking came upon the body of a child, wrapped in a garbage bag and left by the side of the road on Highway 110. Investigators worked until three on Sunday morning, and now the next step will come from a Dallas medical examiner.

"We have a report from yesterday," Van Zandt County Sheriff Pat Burnett explains, "We know it is an infant, but we don't know the age of it at this point in time officially. The only thing that we have new today was that it was a male child."

The citizens of Grand Saline tried to go on with their lives today, but the death of the child dominated the morning's discussions.

"I just came from the grocery store, everyone was talking about it, Jessica Clower said. "No one can believe it, they're all in shock, they just think it's so terrible."

"It shocked me," resident and mother Lisa Jumper said. "I was like, chills, all over me. I mean, that's just a little bitty baby..."

"That's just a baby, I mean," she said, her voice trailing off at the enormity of the situation.

Everyone, even a lawman with over twenty years experience on crime scenes, was taken aback. Burnett's second anniversary as Van Zandt County Sheriff was Saturday, and he spent that day at work on the side of the highway.

"It always stuns you," Sheriff Burnett said. "Any crime that involves our senior citizens or children always comes closer to home, especially when you're a father."

"But, no you'll never get used to it," he admits.

So today the town remains quiet, awaiting something, anything, that can help them make sense of the crime.

Sheriff Burnett expects the medical examiners preliminary report to come in Monday. He hopes that with a clearer description of the child, some one may recognize him, and come forward with information. They are currently treating the baby's death as a homicide.

Reid Kerr reporting.

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