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DNA May Help Solve ‘Baby Angel’ Mystery

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(credit: CBS) Bill Hudson
Bill Hudson has been with WCCO-TV since 1989. The native of Elk Rive...
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ST. PAUL, Minn. (WCCO) – For seven months the agony of not knowing the name of a newborn found dead in the Mississippi River has worn on investigators. They deal in criminal tragedies every day, but this one is different.

“We believe the baby was in the river for a very short period of time,” said Drew, a senior special agent with the Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension (BCA).

Evans has been working the case ever since the newborn’s body was discovered floating in the Mississippi River south of Winona on Labor Day.

The seven-pound body was wrapped with a green T-shirt, encased in two brown plastic garbage bags and then placed inside a canvas tourist tote. That tote was embroidered with sailboats and the Mexican resort area of Manzanillo.

“We’re still continuing to do some analysis in the DNA lab to determine if anybody could potentially be parents of this child both within the state and nationally in the surrounding states,” Evans said.

An autopsy on the body produced a good sample of the child’s DNA. However, the sample that was analyzed does not identify the child’s ethnicity.

Investigators quickly named the child, “Baby Angel,” because of several glass angel figurines were found wrapped alongside the body.

“We will continue to follow up on DNA information in the various databases that we search and examine,” Evans said. “They’re continually updated on a regular basis so we’ll continue to have that available to us.”

The BCA is asking for the public’s help identifying the child’s parents or with information that could help them solve the mystery. The Winona County Sheriff’s Office tip line is (507) 457-6530.

On Saturday, Winona County deputies will serve as pallbearers as the unknown baby girl is laid to rest in a local cemetery. The public is encouraged to attend the funeral scheduled for 1 p.m.

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