Death of baby found in trash bin ruled a homicide

October 29, 2008|By Justin Fenton

The state medical examiner's office has ruled that the death of a newborn who was found Oct. 4 in a Charles Village trash bin after his mother went for treatment at a local hospital, was a homicide by asphyxiation. Police say the investigation is continuing; the death is not yet reflected in this year's homicide count.

Police said the 22-year-old mother, who was involved in a training program with a Christian volunteer organization, went to Union Memorial Hospital with abdominal pain, and doctors discovered during an examination that she had recently given birth.

The woman, whom police declined to identify, told doctors the baby had been stillborn, but she wouldn't disclose where they could find his body, according to police.

Hospital staff notified police about 9:30 p.m., and city officers went to where she had been living - St. John's United Methodist Church in the 2600 block of St. Paul St. - and began searching the church and its property. Officers found the dead, full-term newborn in a blue steel trash bin behind the church in an alley, police said.

Police also disclosed the fatal shooting last week of 23-year-old Marshall Nelson, whose last known address was in the 3100 block of Brendan Ave.

Nelson was found just before 10 p.m. Oct. 22 in a grassy area in the rear of the 3500 block of Pelham Ave. in the Northeast District, police said. A man who had parked his vehicle in the alley discovered the body and called 911.

At the time of his death, Nelson was on probation stemming from a drug conviction last year.

He was Baltimore's 181st homicide victim of the year. The city had recorded 246 homicides at this time in 2007. Baltimore is on track to record a 26 percent drop in killings from last year.

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