Baby FeetUnidentified White Male Infant


Baby John Doe
Unidentified male Infant
ME/C Case Number: 10-1397
NamUs UP # 10855
Found in Des Moines River
Des Moines, Iowa
Polk County
Investigating Agency: Polk County Medical Examiner’s Office
December 12, 1953


Polk County in Iowa
Polk County in Iowa
Des Moines in Polk CountyDes Moines in Polk County

On Saturday, December 12, 1953, officials recovered a white male infant from the Des Moines River in Polk County, Iowa. The newborn had been struck in the skull and burned before being tossed into the river.

The infant’s charred body was burned beyond recognition, and investigators could determine neither the child’s exact weight nor height, but did identify a skull fracture in the baby’s head.

Detectives believe the infant was likely killed sometime on or around Dec. 12, 1953.

The baby wore no clothing, and the Polk County Medical Examiner’s Office took over the case in attempts to identify the newborn’s body.

No DNA or dental charting is available in this case.

Information Needed

If you have any information about this unidentified infant please contact the Polk County Medical Examiner’s Office at (515) 286-2102 or NamUs Regional Administrator Melissa Gregory at (855) 626-7600.


8 Responses to Unidentified White Male Infant

  1. LakeLife says:

    DNA can still be collected but they would need to exhume the body.
    Praying for the truth to come out!

  2. AnitaJohnson says:

    Leon Sr.
    Yes, I noticed these two babies. The towel on the first baby had two tea towels, one with numerals “49” on a corner. Could that towel be trom a hospital? Hotel/bar/tea room/restaurant? I think that ordinary people like us are giving hope to cold cases.
    Could the towel be from a??? What do you think?

  3. Mr.X says:

    To everyone saying why didn’t they collect DNA it was 1953 !!! Nobody knew what DNA was 65 years ago. I highly doubt any fluids were found inside or on the charred body that’s just like asking why didn’t they didn’t they use finger prints during the inquest of Julius Caesar the technology didn’t exist.

  4. Leon Sr. says:

    This happened 21 years before my time. I’m thank the Lord for two loving parents. Neither were perfect and they didn’t have much. As sad as this story is its humbling because it could have been any of us reading this. I’m sure it must have been scary to have have or raise a child back then. There’s no amount of fear, or financial circumstances to justify slaughter of an infant. It’s much scarier now because of lack of discipline and carelessness. I’m curious, did anyone else notice a year before this baby was murdered there was another male infant found by construction worker near U.S. hwy 30? Same manner of death minus being burned beyond recognition? 12 years later there were two girls age 3 and 13 months and two more a year later? I’m so no detective but I’m thinking (possible connection?)

  5. Brenda says:

    Seems to me iowa dont know how to acomplish a damn thing period…get your sh* t together

    • Leon Sr says:

      The state of Iowa always has an excuse. I have no faith what’s so ever in our justice system. I can acknowledge Iowa is better for raising children but that doesn’t mean DHS, courts or law enforcement agencies are doing their job. Cha chingg$$$

  6. doe hunter says:

    Why isn’t any DNA available? Couldn’t they extract DNA from bone marrow? Familial matches could potentially be found through ancestral databases.

  7. Marie says:

    If DNA could still be collected, and ran against criminal data bank, it might be possible to find the father, through him the mother. Any devil that would do this, will commit other crimes.
    It takes areal devil to do something like this.

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