1950s baby found in storage unit

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DELRAY BEACH, Fla. (AP) – A woman cleaning out her dead parents’ rented storage unit discovered a partially mummified baby boy, wrapped in a 1957 newspaper and stuffed inside a suitcase-within-a-suitcase.

The body will be sent to a forensic anthropologist to determine the cause of death and whether the baby was born alive, authorities said Tuesday.

The daughter who found the body Monday night “was a little rattled at first” and wondered to herself, “Could this be a sibling?” said police spokesman Officer Jeff Messer.

“It’s obviously a concern of hers,” Messer said. “Based on the condition of this baby, it could really be 50 years old.”

The storage unit had been rented by the couple in 1996. The man died several years ago and the woman, who was in her 70s, died last year, Messer said.

The couple’s daughter had flown down from New Jersey after receiving a letter warning that the contents of the storage unit would be auctioned off because the rent had not been paid for several months, Messer said.

“As they were cleaning it out, she came upon a big suitcase, opened that suitcase, found another smaller suitcase, opened it and found a baby wrapped in a newspaper,” he said. Messer called the discovery “spooky.”

Authorities would not release the names of the couple or the daughter.

According to investigators, the child was wrapped in a newspaper called the Daily Times dated Jan. 9, 1957. They believe the paper was from New Jersey or New York.

Messer would not say whether DNA was extracted from the baby to be compared to the daughter.

Messer said investigators will interview friends and family of the couple to determine if the elder woman was ever pregnant with another child and kept it secret. But he also noted that others may have had access to the warehouse.

AP-ES-01-23-07 1605EST

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