NORFOLK, Neb. (KCAU) – Nearly 20 years ago, the body of a baby boy was discovered at Nebraska’s Elkhorn River. Now, the mother has been identified.
On June 17, 2004, police recovered the body of the full-term infant from the Norfolk Fork of the river in Norfolk, according to a release from the Norfolk Police Division.
The release said that an autopsy was unable to determine whether or not the baby was alive before being found. Additional investigations were unable to determine the mother’s identity at the time.
DNA samples were compared to several individuals and revisited on multiple occasions as new technologies became available, but they were unsuccessful until this year.
In March 2023, Norfolk Police worked with the University of Nebraska Medical Center’s (UNMC) DNA lab to investigate the death.
Through a genetic genealogy service, UNMC was able to determine a possible mother, according to the release.
Officials traveled to where she lived. With the help of law enforcement, authorities made contact with her, the release said.
Officials said the mother, who gave a sample of her DNA to confirm her identity, told them she was a juvenile when she gave birth at her home. She said the baby was stillborn and that she disposed of the body in the river.
Another individual was also identified, interviewed, and determined to have been aware of the pregnancy and stillbirth.
Police said the statute of limitations had expired for any misdemeanor crime that may have been committed in this case. There is also insufficient evidence for prosecution.
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