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Baby’s body found at recycling center may be from Waukegan or Wisconsin

This is plant where dead baby boy was found early Wednesday in
Chicago Ridge.  |  Steve Metsch~Sun-Times Media

This is the plant where a dead baby boy was found early Wednesday in Chicago Ridge. | Steve Metsch~Sun-Times Media

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Updated: June 3, 2013 3:25PM

CHICAGO RIDGE — The remains of a newborn baby stuffed into a soft cooler were found early Wednesday, May 1, in a recycling facility in south suburban Chicago Ridge.

The child’s remains were discovered by workers at Resource Management Companies at 10111 Anderson Ave., according to Chicago Ridge Deputy Police Chief Paul Landry.

“They discovered the remains on a conveyor belt during the separating process,” according to Landry. Who said the load was placed on the conveyor belt about 2:15 a.m. and the body discovered about 4 a.m.

“It was wrapped in a blue towel and placed in a small, soft red cooler,” Landry said, adding the “umbilical cord was still attached” so the body was that of a newborn.

The shipment in which the body was found originated with a firm called Advance Disposal and included recycling that was picked up on Monday in either Waukegan or Pleasant Prairie, Wis., Landry said.

“We have reached out to authorities in those communities to try and get the word out,” he said.

After pickup, the recycling load would have then gone to Kenosha, Wis., been loaded onto bigger trucks and shipped to Chicago Ridge, Landry said.

While the body was intact and had not been through anytime of compacting device, Landry said it was impossible to determine cause of death.

The Cook County Medical Examiner’s office confirmed the death, but could provide no further details. An autopsy is scheduled for Thursday.

“At that point we will know more and can determine what type of investigation this is,” Landry said.

The discovery came near the end of a shift at Resource Management, which operates around the clock, company President Calvin Tigchelaar said.

Once the body was discovered, “everything comes to a stop, the authorities come in and it then becomes a crime scene,” he said. Police were at the facility processing the scene and investigating for about five to six hours, he said.

Company employees “handled it quite well,” he said. “Everybody initially was very distraught.”

Because the discovery came near the end of a shift, “we’ll see” how those employees are doing “when they come back later this evening,” he said.

The Save Abandoned Babies Foundation took the occasion to remind the public of the Safe Haven law, which allows any desperate parent to hand their unharmed baby, 30 days old or younger, to staff at a hospital, fire or police station with no questions asked.

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