State and local police in Rhode Island are investigating after a worker at the Narragansett Bay Commission’s Bucklin Point Wastewater Treatment Facility discovered the body of a dead newborn baby Monday afternoon in some debris.
An autopsy on the male baby found the child was 19 or 20 weeks along, about halfway through a typical pregnancy.
Local resident David Pelletier, whose home in East Providence sits next to the wastewater treatment plant where the baby was discovered said he was shocked by the news, especially because there are high fences surrounding the plant.
“I don’t know how it got in there unless it went through the system,” Pelletier said.
Police say it’s not clear if a crime was committed at this point. They are concerned the mother needs medical attention.
Following the discovery, the Catholic Diocese of Providence has extended an offer to the East Providence police, who are investigating the case, to provide a proper burial in one of the diocese’s Catholic cemeteries.
Here’s more on that offer, from the Rhode Island Catholic newspaper:
Bishop Thomas J. Tobin said he was heartbroken to hear the news, and attributes the discovery of the discarded, unborn, unnamed child of God to the culture of today’s world.
“Pope Francis has often spoken about the throwaway culture which we live in that affects so many poor people and so many individuals, including unborn children, and that’s what we’re dealing with today,” the bishop said Wednesday.
“So, the diocese has come forward to offer a decent and dignified funeral and burial for this unborn child. It’s certainly a decency and dignity this child deserves.”
The bishop also expressed his concern for the mother of the unborn baby, who he believes may have had a very difficult personal situation to deal with, prompting the fetus to be discarded in the anonymous manner that it was.
“We want to offer her our prayers and personal support too, and we hope she is doing well,” Bishop Tobin added.
Anyone with any more information should call East Providence police at 401-435-7600, ext. 20024.