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Aug 31, 1999

Fetus found on foreshore

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At a quarter past seven on Monday night, News Five was called out to a gruesome scene at the corner of King Street and Southern Foreshore. The body of a male baby had been found floating in the drain. According to Nelson Contreras, a security guard on duty, he was alerted by some young boys who were fishing in the area, when they came upon the grisly discovery. Contreras says he could not believe what he saw.

Nelson Contreras

“Well me and some guys were sitting over here and while we were going and they look in the water, they saw a baby in the water. The same time I tell them you must be joking so I gone by the side of the seawall and you know I see it and it was floating in the culvert here by the drain. The baby had no head, just his foot and hands.”

Q: “You could not believe what you were seeing?”

Nelson Contreras

“No, I can’t believe because it was very cruel you know that the mother could do such thing.”

Police say at this time they do not know who the baby’s mother is but say the results of a postmortem examination conducted by Doctor Hugh Sanchez this evening has led them to believe that an unlawful abortion took place about one week ago. Inspector Mario Vernon, Head of C.I.B. says contrary to reports the corpse did have a head but the skull was completely crushed.

Insp. Mario Vernon, Head of C.I.B.

“The doctor is saying that it’s a fetus about four and a half to five months old or about twenty weeks and that it was an abortion. Contrary to what was said yesterday evening and perhaps today that the head was completely off, this was not the case. The head or part of it, pieces of skull and what not were there on the body but in a crushed condition which the doctor attributed to fish being responsible.

The left forearm and the right hand were missing. The toes of the left foot were also missing. There were also obvious injuries to the left side of the body which he attributes to fish or perhaps especially with the injury to the left side of the body it could have been caused by an instrument used to commit the unlawful abortion. He is saying also that that fetus is of Hispanic parentage. It weighs somewhere about a pound and a half. As to the state of decomposition which it was obviously in, the doctor is saying that child could have been still born or could have been out of the womb about a week or so.

It is more work now for the police because we will need to cover a more vast area. Whereas if a body was found specifically at an area where it wouldn’t have been moved about so easily we could canvas a specific area. But since it was in the sea, it could have come from outward at sea; it could have come from downward in the river; it could have come from across the northside of the city. We have a task ahead of us but we have some things to go on to try and determine exactly who was responsible.”

Viewers please note: This Internet newscast is a verbatim transcript of our evening television newscast. Where speakers use Kriol, we attempt to faithfully reproduce the quotes using a standard spelling system.

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