Cops still seeking mom after baby found dead near Wheaton

  • A cross, flowers and a stuffed bear mark the site where a baby was found dead Monday in an unincorporated area near Wheaton. Police say they're hunting for the baby's mother.

      A cross, flowers and a stuffed bear mark the site where a baby was found dead Monday in an unincorporated area near Wheaton. Police say they're hunting for the baby's mother. Bev Horne | Staff Photographer

  • Patrol volunteers with the DuPage County sheriff's office distribute fliers Tuesday evening at the intersection of Plamondon and Orchard roads near Wheaton. Officials say they're looking for information in the death of a baby found Monday along Plamondon.

      Patrol volunteers with the DuPage County sheriff's office distribute fliers Tuesday evening at the intersection of Plamondon and Orchard roads near Wheaton. Officials say they're looking for information in the death of a baby found Monday along Plamondon. Bev Horne | Staff Photographer

 
 
Updated 8/16/2016 7:05 PM

As flowers and a cross labeled "Baby Doe" mark the scene where a baby was found dead Monday near Wheaton, investigators have turned their focus to finding the baby's mother.

DuPage County sheriff's deputies were handing out fliers Tuesday evening seeking additional information near the scene where the newborn was discovered, off Plamondon Road in an unincorporated area northwest of the Danada Forest Preserve.

 

Officials said the baby likely had been left on the side of the road for at least a day before being discovered Monday by landscapers.

Authorities have been mum about their investigation.

But sources familiar with the probe say the baby appears to have been born near where it was left. They said DNA and other tests are being performed in an effort to identify the baby's mother.

In addition to facing possible criminal charges, the mother also may need medical attention, sources say.

"We realize there are unforeseen circumstances that can lead to these types of incidents and, at this time, care for the mother is paramount," sheriff's officials said in a news release Tuesday afternoon.

Officials said they're reaching out to the community to find anyone who may have information about the case.

Neighbors reported seeing a black backpack along a private drive that leads to several homes situated on large, wooded lots as early as Sunday evening.

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Landscapers discovered the baby sometime Monday about 3 feet away from the private road in a wooded area, neighbors said. Found near the bag with two blankets, the baby was swollen and blue with its umbilical cord still attached.

Officials have not released the baby's gender or race. Preliminary results of Tuesday's autopsy are "pending further investigation," according to a written statement released by DuPage County Coroner Richard Jorgensen.

A large number of police officers had gathered at the scene about 3 p.m. Monday. Kip Schwytzer lives down the road from where the baby was found.

"It's very upsetting," she said Monday. "I don't know what would cause somebody to dispose of a baby that way, but it's certainly very upsetting to hear."

A woman who lives across the street from where the baby was found and who wished to be identified only as Stella, said she noticed the backpack on the side of the private drive when she left for work around 9 a.m. Monday.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                       
 

At first, she assumed it was something left behind by some teens, since she sometimes finds them leaving trash and beer bottles in the area. But when she returned home around 3 p.m., police were lining the private drive and refusing to let her drive to her home.

DuPage County sheriff's officials urge anyone with information to call the sheriff's department at (630) 407-2400.

• Daily Herald staff writers Jessica Cilella and Sara Hooker contributed to this report.

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