Police fear baby's corpse was incinerated

January 7, 2009 5:03:10 PM PST
The search for the remains of a Jersey City baby has moved to Kentucky, but police fear that the corpse has already been incinerated. Police have been looking for the body of Bashere Davon Moyd Jr. since Jan. 2, when the baby was discovered missing from a hospital morgue.

Christ Hospital officials have not said where the body may have gone, but police say it appears it was thrown away with the hospital's trash sometime between Dec. 21 and Jan. 2.

Jersey City police chief Thomas Comey said in a statement posted Tuesday night on the department's Web site that police were searching a landfill in Ashland, Ky., where the waste may have been transferred. And Kentucky State Police said Wednesday night that they are coordinating an effort with Jersey City authorities to secure railcars that may have transported the waste.

Comey, though, was also fearful that the waste was sent elsewhere and may have already been incinerated.

EnviroSolutions, which operates the Big Run Landfill that police were searching, said Wednesday that they are cooperating with authorities.

EnviroSolutions vice president Charles B. Fromm declined to provide details of the search because of the ongoing police investigation, but said there is no incinerator at the Big Run Landfill.

The baby was delivered on Dec. 21. The mother, 26-year-old Kalynn Moore, of Jersey City, said that the child was born alive but with a weak heartbeat. She said her son died about 20 minutes later as doctors tried to save him.

But hospital officials say the baby was stillborn.

Moore's lawyer, Michael Anise, said a death certificate and medical records from the hospital say the baby was stillborn; Anise said he is still reviewing it.

"The doctor's notes that states it was lifeless," Anise said Wednesday. "That is not our main focus as much as the fact that we had a baby's body here."

Hospital officials declined to answer questions but issued a statement on Wednesday saying they are cooperating with authorities and Anise.

"The physicians and staff of Christ Hospital provided excellent emergency medical care that protected the life of Kalynn Moore while attempting extraordinary measures to bring life to her stillborn son," the statement said. "We are confident a review of the medical procedures will reach the same conclusion."

Whether the child was stillborn is an important legal distinction because New Jersey law does not recognized stillborn children as humans.

Anise, who has said that a lawsuit is likely, maintains there is no reason for the body of a fetus to have been thrown into the trash.

Anise said the body was discovered missing when a funeral home worker went to pick it up from the morgue. He said a morgue employee was able to find the tags that were affixed to the baby's shirt and blanket when he was taken to the morgue.

He had also requested surveillance video from the hospital hoping it may have shown what happened to the remains. But Wednesday, he said hospital officials told him that the tapes from cameras in the area had been reused.

In its statement, the hospital said that upon learning the remains were missing from the morgue, it immediately notified Moore and both Hudson County and state authorities.

"Our internal investigation has not yet identified how this tragedy occurred and we continue to work with the Jersey City Police to establish the location of the remains," the statement said. "We have initiated changes to improve procedures in the morgue to prevent a similar tragedy from happening again.

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