Buena Vista County in Iowa
Storm Lake in Buena Vista County
Baby (Boy) Doe
Two days old
5020 W. Eighth St.
Storm Lake, IA
Buena Vista County
October 15, 1995
On Tuesday, October 17, 1995, officers on foot patrol in Storm Lake, Iowa, found a newborn dead baby boy in a vacant and boarded-up mobile home located at 5020 W. Eighth Street. According to police, the infant — believed to have been two days old — had been left alone to die in a closet.
The baby wore no clothing, but was wrapped in a sweatshirt before being put in the closet. Police said “Baby Doe” died due to exposure caused by neglect.
Authorities from the Storm Lake Police Department, the Buena Vista County Sheriff’s Office, and the Iowa Division of Criminal Investigation all followed up on leads, but were unable to locate the baby’s parents. Nor were the person or persons responsible for the child’s death located.
On Friday, October 27, the Storm Lake community held a memorial service at Lakeside Presbyterian Church to say goodbye to the infant. Six ministers and many church-goers of different faiths attended the service, along with the St. Mary’s children’s choir and several musicians.
The service opened with the children’s choir singing “Amazing Grace,” who later sang a musical tribute — “Like a Little Child” — to Baby Doe.
The ministers prayed for justice and peace for the person or persons responsible for the baby’s death, and for the “gift of consolation” for the community.
Police officers distributed memorial booklets titled “Baby Doe, Child of the Storm Lake Community,” and placed a teddy bear displaying the department’s logo amongst the flowers on the casket to be buried with the child.
When services ended, the tiny casket — scarcely bigger than a bread box — was carried from the church, accompanied by the entire Storm Lake Police force. The officers also stood by during the infant’s burial at Buena Vista Memorial Cemetery.
If you have any information about this case, please contact the Storm Lake Police Department at (712) 732-8010.
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