Mummified baby found in storage unit - - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News

01/23/06 - Delray Beach, Florida

Mummified baby found in storage unit

The partially mummified body of a baby, wrapped in 1950s newspapers, was found Monday by a woman going through her deceased parents' belongings in a southeast Florida storage facility, according to police.

"It was a baby boy, partially mummified," said Delray Beach police spokesman Jeff Messer. "The woman was pretty upset when she found it. You could make out the features pretty clearly." The child had hair, he said.

The body was in a small suitcase, which was placed inside a larger suitcase, said Messer, who viewed the remains.

"It was spooky," Messer said.

The baby was wrapped in a newspaper called The Daily Times, dated January 9, 1957, police said. Authorities are not sure where it was published, but were checking the New York and New Jersey area because the couple lived there before retiring in Florida.

The body was "very well preserved. In my experience, I have not seen remains in that condition after such a long time," said Police Lt. Mark Woods.

The Palm Beach medical examiner's office was bringing in a forensic anthropologist to determine the baby's age and cause of death. The medical examiner previously declined comment.

The storage bay had been rented since 1996, Messer said. The woman's father died in 2002 or 2003, and his wife died last year, he said. The couple lived in Delray Beach at one point. Woods said their belongings were stored in the warehouse after they moved to Florida in the middle to late 1980s.

The daughter was notified by the warehouse owner that rent on the storage bay was overdue and the contents would be sold at auction if the account was not brought up to date, police said. She flew from New Jersey to examine the contents of the storage bay and made the gruesome discovery.

Police said the woman did not disturb the remains or remove the newspapers they were wrapped in.

The daughter, who told police she did not know of any stillbirths or abortions in the family, gave them permission to search the storage area without a warrant, Messer said. It was described as being about the size of a one-car garage and was filled with furniture and housewares.

Police are treating the warehouse as a crime scene.

Story courtesy of the Associated Press.

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