02/23/07 — Funeral set for abandoned baby boy

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Funeral set for abandoned baby boy

By Bonnie Edwards
Published in News on February 23, 2007 1:55 PM

WARSAW -- A graveside funeral service will be held Monday for an abandoned baby found dead earlier this month at a vacant house.

Police are still looking for the parents of the baby boy, who was discovered Feb. 6 at a home on Chelly Street in Warsaw. The child is believed to have died at the house, according to recently released autopsy results.

The public is invited to the graveside service, which will be 2 p.m. in the Devotional Gardens on N.C. 24 East near James Kenan High School.

A Warsaw resident who asked to remain anonymous has donated a burial plot. Arrangements are being provided free by Quinn-McGowan Funeral Home of Wallace. One of the officiating ministers will be the Rev. Jerry Ezzell of Warsaw.

Warsaw Police Capt. Jerry Wood said many residents, funeral home officials and other business owners offered assistance with the funeral.

"We literally had more offers than we could use, but they are still appreciated," he said.

For information about the funeral or to send flowers, call Quinn-McGowan at 1-910-285-4005.

In the meantime, police officers are continuing their search for the baby's parents.

Warsaw police are asking that anyone who might know something about the baby or his parents call the department at 1-910-293-7816.

The baby was alive when he was born, Wood said. The investigation also revealed the baby was not born in a medical facility and that there was no sign of abuse. The State Bureau of Investigations is assisting with the investigation, which is continuing.

An autopsy and bloodwork were performed at Onslow Memorial Hospital in Jacksonville to determine the baby's race and the cause of his death.

The baby was Caucasian or Hispanic, or possibly both, Wood said.

"Exposure to the cold temperatures was a major factor in his death. At this time, I cannot reveal any further findings," he said.

Wood added that he believes whoever left the newborn on the doorstep of the house probably believed somebody lived there, and probably did not intend for the child to die.

"However, they need to come forward and give their own account of how this happened," he said. "There is a lot of public opinion out there that they intentionally killed this child. If they do not come forward on their own and give an account as to what really happened, when they are located, they will probably be judged more harshly than someone who comes up and says something like, 'Hey. I made a mistake. I couldn't keep the child for whatever reason and I thought I was leaving him with someone who would care for him. I did not intend for him to die.' If this child were here and could speak to his parents, he would probably ask, Mommy, Daddy, why did I die?' He deserves an answer."