Baby Feet“A Child of God” Baby Boy Doe

Homicide

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
Storm Lake, Iowa Storm 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.

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