Baby Feet“A Child of God” Baby Boy Doe


Infant 24 hours old
Harold Rowley Recycling Center
Storm Lake, IA
Buena Vista County
Investigating Agency: Buena Vista County Sheriff’s Office
May 30, 2002

An infant baby boy between 24 and 48 hours old was found in a shredder at the Harold Rowley Recycling Center in Buena Vista County outside Storm Lake on May 30, 2002.

Workers found the baby’s remains in the trash chute on the conveyor where recyclables were separated, and the infant’s body had been damaged by the shredder.

Storm Lake citizens dubbed this second abandoned infant “A Child of God.”

Buena Vista County in Iowa
Buena Vista County in Iowa
Storm Lake in Buena Vista CountyStorm Lake in Buena Vista County

The county offered a reward for any information leading to the baby’s identity, but no one ever came forward.

Machine-dated time cards from 1990 and 1991 were found in the vicinity of the child, though officials later ruled them as unrelated to the baby boy.

Six years earlier, a two-day-old “Baby Doe” was found dead inside a closet at an abandoned Storm Lake mobile home. That case also remains open.

In a Storm Lake Pilot-Tribune article dated January 3, 2004, Sheriff Chuck Eddy said the ‘Child of God’ case was never far from his mind.

“It is still open and it will stay open. We have no leads to go on, but if someone can give us something to work with – anything – we will actively investigate it. We are still looking for answers,” Eddy said.

Officials took DNA samples from the infant before burial with hopes that a genetic profile could eventually be matched against a potential suspect.

“My personal feeling is that this was not a case of someone just passing through who decided to dump off a baby and drive away. I feel that this was a person who lived here, and very well may still live here,” Eddy told the Pilot-Tribune.

In a Storm Lake Pilot Tribune editorial dated May 5, 2016, the newspaper said:

I’m stunned. Baby drop-off boxes. Even animal shelters don’t have drop-off boxes – we couldn’t imagine treating an animal that way.

Have we really come to this point – when life is respected and valued so little that babies are to be cast off in a drive-up box?

“Baby Moses” or “Safe Haven” laws began to be put in place in the late 1990s. Iowa joined the movement in the wake of a 2001 case in eastern Iowa where a teenage mother killed her home-delivered infant. Safe Haven laws allow a parent to drop off an unwanted baby – usually up to two weeks or a month old – at designated locations. Depending on the state, these may include hospitals, fire stations, police stations, churches or with a 911 EMT). There are no questions, no repercussions.

Apparently that isn’t easy enough.

You can’t get much more anonymous than stuffing your newborn into a steel drive-by box. Full Story

No clue to the identity of either baby or their parents has ever been found, and all leads have long since been exhausted, the Pilot-Tribune reported in January 2004.

Information Needed

If you have any information about the identity of this child, please contact the Buena Vista County Sheriff’s Office at (712) 749-2530.


11 Responses to A Child of God Baby Boy Doe

  1. Adrienne says:

    I don’t understand this at all. An test costs a few hundred bucks – why on earth can’t the DNA be run through a database like that? What am I missing?

    • Patrick Kerrigan says:

      I am sorry but the testing and the necessary research runs about $5000.00. However, there are organizations that take donations and provide the funds the do the testing

      I have come across an individual who has kicked his own money to find the cost of the tests.

      • doofy says:

        id say lets do it regardless of cost. its amazing how much our local and federal government will waste on endless wars and funding ukraine but will not even blink an eye to figure out whose child this was

  2. Theresa says:

    I am wondering how much it would cost to get the DNA testing done to close these cases.

    • doofy says:

      probably quite pricey so you know the state of iowa wont do it unless it is absolutely necessary. youre right though leaning towards DNA because i believe most of these cases could be closed if they would approach it that way

  3. Pamela Constable says:

    I believe now DNA, will give this baby the known Mother.

  4. Keira says:

    I was just in storm lake this evening so it’s really weird timing to me. I’m just now hearing (well, reading) of this and a couple theories came to mind: the mother was in a compromising situation such as trafficking, drugs (anyone from the area knows storm lake has a major drug problem), an incest scenario, and/or an abusive relationship. With the safe haven boxes, I’m not sure if there was one available in storm lake at the time or not, but if there was, there could be fears that someone would be watching and make some connection, even though it is fairly anonymous. If she was being trafficked someone could possibly link her to her pimp and any other victims and I’m sure that could have some really bad repercussions. If it’s a drug situation, it could lead to her being arrested. If it’s an abusive relationship it could get her partner caught and I’m sure we’re all aware of how difficult and dangerous it is getting out of an abusive situation. Similarly, if it was an incest situation it could possibly be linked to the family member and that would place a lot of burden on her as well. I’m not saying it justifies it, but I do think they’re possibilities that should be explored. Worst case scenario it’s wrong and the case continues to be cold.

    My other theory is that it’s another teenage mom who likely hid her pregnancy and delivered outside of a hospital setting, like the girl from eastern Iowa that was mentioned in the article.

  5. Francis Hammersmith says:

    I don’t have words for this. I am shocked an amazed in the most terrible way. I can’t believe I didn’t hear more about this when it happened. I will be doing some research to see if anything else has ever come of this, and the previous, case. Into the cradle of God’s arms these children are delivered, and that is the only solace we can take from such tragedies. My heart goes out to the entire community for knowing that such a thing happened in their midst.

  6. Holly Kirsch says:

    I have been praying ever since this happened to both babies. I remember reading about it in the paper and it just broke my heart. I pray the parents turn themselves in or that the Police find them. My prayers remain with both babies.

  7. Sandy R says:

    I live in Storm Lake and I remember when this happened. Who just throws away a baby? And then the poor thing goes through a shredder? Who ARE these people?

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