The mother of an abandoned baby boy who had frozen to death in a Connecticut parking lot in 1988 will not be criminally charged because the statute of limitations had expired, authorities announced on Tuesday.
The Hartford Courant reported that the deceased baby, who the local clergy named David Paul, was found bundled in a pink blanket and lying against a tree. Meriden police reportedly used emerging DNA profiling technology and elicited the help California-based IdentiFinders International, to identify the newborn’s mother as Karen Kuzmak Roche.
Roche was 25 when she allegedly left her son in the parking lot, which was located blocks away from her residence. Roche told officers who visited her on January 2 of this year that she gave birth alone at home before wrapping the newborn in blankets and leaving him in the parking lot.
“Ms. Roche indicated that she had been waiting 32 years for the day in which police would be knocking on her door regarding this incident,” Meriden Police Chief Jeffry Cossette said at a Tuesday news conference, according to the Hartford Courant report.
Authorities now believe the baby was left in the parking lot on December 28, 1988 — five days before he was discovered in freezing temperatures, according to the Courant.
Roche reportedly claimed that the day she left her son, she called the South Meriden Volunteer Fire Department and told them there was “something in the parking lot.” Meriden police Chief Jeffry Cossette said she did not disclose that it was a baby during the phone call.
Despite tracking down Roche, Meriden police said she will not be prosecuted as the statute of limitations for manslaughter is 20 years and the crime happened 32 years earlier. They also mentioned that it would be difficult to prove intent to murder mainly because of the phone call Roche placed shortly after leaving her son in the parking lot.
Roche reportedly said she would have taken advantage of Safe Haven Laws had they been in place when she had her son in 1988. Corsette described Roche as remorseful when officers visited her home earlier this month, according to Connecticut Public Radio.
Colleen Fitzpatrick from IdentiFinders said DNA recovered from the scene was entered into GEDmatch — a database containing DNA samples collected by private companies that are known for providing people with information about their ancestry. Connecticut Public Radio reported that the inquiry produced genealogical data which allowed investigators to establish a family tree-based profile.
Authorities did not disclose David Paul’s father’s identity.
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