MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — One week after Labor Day boaters made the gruesome discovery of a dead newborn floating inside a plastic bag on the Mississippi River, investigators are explaining how leads in the case have grown cold.

That explains why the Bureau of Criminal Apprehension and the Winona County Sheriff’s investigators are revealing crucial evidence. They’re hoping that with the public’s help the evidence may provide the leads they need to solve the tragic mystery.

“We’re here today to ask the public’s help to solve this investigation,” Sheriff David Brand said.

Investigators have named the unknown baby girl, Angel. That’s because along with the newborn’s body they recovered four porcelain angel figurines placed inside the canvas and plastic bags. One of the larger angel figurines, measuring nearly 10-inches tall, is dated with the year 2000 and the words, “Anno Domini.”

The two smaller blue angels measure three-and-a-half inches tall and contain tiny bells.

“The child was found in a canvas bag that had embroidery on the outside of the bag,” said BCA Special Agent Drew Evans.

That tan-colored fabric bag is believed to be from the Mexican resort community of Manzanillo. The 7-pound newborn’s body was wrapped in a dark green T-shirt with a silk-screened image of what appears to be a slice of bread on its front.

Also inside the bag was a single piece of dark blue jewelry in the shape of a circular eye pattern. It is attached to a string of blue and silver beads.

The infant’s body and all of the items were inside the canvas bag which was wrapped with two tan plastic bags.

“We can’t speculate what the meaning of the items is, but they had some sort of personal significance to whomever placed them in the bag with the body,” Evans said.

Investigators say they have good reason to believe the baby was only in the water for about a day when boaters discovered the bag floating about six miles south of Winona. Further forensic testing will be done on the body as the autopsy continues. So far they can’t determine the identity, race or ethnicity of “baby angel.”

Investigators also say they have no reason to suspect this abandoned baby is connected to three previous cases of dead babies discovered upriver in Goodhue County.

Anyone who can help identify the items of evidence or help determine the parents of the child is asked to contact the Winona County Sheriff’s Department hotline at (507) 457-6530.

Gallery: Items Found With ‘Baby Angel’

Comments (21)
  1. Crazy says:

    Dear God I hope they find this person. Enough is enough. Either get them help, or lock them up. I

  2. Kori says:

    We put up a facebook page to name this baby girl. We did a mass vote and had decided to name her GRACIE NEVAEH. Gracie stands for “by the grace of god’ and nevaeh is heaven spelled backwards! Just wondering how i can get this noticed so that they can name her.

    1. Realist says:

      Congrats on forcing religion on this dead child.

    2. just askin says:

      Well, how are you certian it isn’t Shanequa?

    3. John says:

      So are you saying it was by the GRACE OF GOD that this child ended up dead in a river????????I say it was by a stupid act of a POS person!!!!

      1. K says:

        We are not forcing religion on this baby. She is in heaven and is around gods grace. This name was liked by many and many prayers were said for this baby girl. At the least she deserves a name. No name is perfect.

        1. Realist says:

          Umm… you and a handful of others decided to name the baby Gracie Neveah. How is that not forcing religion on the baby?

          1. K says:

            Get over it. Prayers are with baby Angel now!

            1. Trey says:

              So…you and a mass of random people had the right to name the baby? If I got a mass of people to vote to name you, will you accept it? Silly

      2. F E Dup says:

        ENOUGH!! An infant girl is dead. Her Mother, for whatever reason, may need medical attention.

        GIVE IT A REST!! This is NOT the place nor the time to have stupid arguments, please.

        If you can help by passing on the information – do it. if not, hush and let others do their little good dead in any way possible. If you don’t like the name – fine – use whatever name you want. (Some people!!)

  3. Curious says:

    Wasn’t there a rash of infant drownings a few years ago in the same area? Seems like there’s something here that might connect THIS to them? This is awful and despicable. I hope the person responsible is found.

    1. bluefaery says:

      there were three babies starting in 1999 … the first two were “probably” white and they “may” share the same mother … the third was a girl of american indian decent … but i believe those were near red wing

  4. John says:

    This looks like a case of The GOP’s answer to health insurance. If you can’t afford to pay then you must die.

    1. Otto Hart says:

      I agree.. GOP no to abortion… no to healthcare… but yes to you are a bad person and should suffer for having done this. I am willing to bet the woman that did this did not want too. Try walking a mile in this persons shoes before condemning her actions. Giver her an out… healthcare or option to abortion. Nope all her fault… got to love the Grand Old Party.

  5. me says:

    I’m not saying anything ..I think the mother should be locked up too..If, she did what everything suspects she did however, since no one was there. How do we know this mother wasn’t some 13 year old kid who went into labor…didn’t know what to do, and the baby died in childbirth. Seriously people, until you know what really happened..save the judgment.

  6. Stacy J says:

    Let me start by stating that I do not condone the actions of the person(s) involved in this situation. That being said, I don’t recall it being publicly stated if this infant was in fact born alive or stillborn. Before we become judge, jury and executioner, lets try a little compassion for a situation be only know based on conclusions.

    I’m not even going to comment on the “name” Kori wants to give this poor child.

    1. K says:

      This baby girl deserves a name at the least. They have John Doe and Jane Doe for men and women. I really hope they arent calling her Baby Doe. There were many people involved in the decision of “Gracie Nevaeh”. Several pastors have agreeing with this name. If you feel this baby deserves a better name..just say it.

      1. K says:

        Happy to tell you all they have named that baby girl “ANGEL”. awesome.

      2. S J says:

        This baby girl deserves a better name. There I said it.

  7. how dare you care says:

    Apparently anyone who has Christian compassion for the dead child, including those that provided burial and wanted to give it an identity must, be condemned in the name of atheistic political correctness. What a bunch of sick, smug creeps.

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