Update on New Bedford “Baby Doe” Investigation


December 19, 2023

Bristol County District Attorney

Thomas M. Quinn III

On Saturday, December 9, 2023, New Bedford Police responded to Fort Taber at approximately 12:40 pm after receiving a 911 call regarding the discovery of a deceased infant.   When police arrived on scene, they learned that an adult female was walking along a path near the water with her pre-teen niece when she made observations of a blanket near a thicket of bushes adjacent to the walking path. The woman also detected an odor of decay.  The woman approached the blanket and found a white plastic bag wrapped inside of it. The decomposing deceased infant was located inside the plastic bag. When the woman made the discovery, she immediately yelled out about her discovery to two nearby men who were out walking their dog.  Subsequently, one of the men called 911.

Massachusetts State Police detectives assigned to the district attorney’s office and New Bedford Police detectives interviewed the woman and the men after the discovery and there is no reason to believe any of them were involved in the baby’s death.

The body of the infant was subsequently transported to the Massachusetts Medical Examiner’s Office.  

As a result of initial DNA testing, investigators have now concluded that “Baby Doe” was a male and was likely deceased for one to four weeks prior to the discovery.  The official cause and manner of death is still pending final autopsy results at this time.

As part of the ongoing investigation into the death and discovery of “Baby Doe,” detectives are reviewing several weeks worth of surveillance footage from the surrounding area.  Our office has also partnered with a private lab in Texas to perform extensive genealogical and forensic testing of DNA and other evidence collected in this case.  Due to the ongoing nature of this probe, our office cannot reveal what other evidence we have obtained and are testing at this time.

Bristol County District Attorney Thomas M. Quinn III, along with all the investigators in the case, are asking anyone with further information about this case to come forward, either in person or anonymously.   Even the smallest tip can often lead to a major break in a case such as this one.

To report a tip, you can contact New Bedford Police at 508-991-6300, call our Massachusetts State Police Detective Unit at 508-961-1901 or submit an anonymous tip via text message by testing the word “Bristol” to the phone number CRIMES (274637).

“This is a terrible tragedy, especially when it occurs during the Christmas season. We should all keep the infant in our prayers,” District Attorney Quinn said. “As part of our efforts, we have expedited and are utilizing advanced forensic technology in an attempt to establish a familial link to the deceased infant. If you have any information about this case, it is imperative that you come forward. No piece of information is insignificant.”


Gregg Miliote

Director of Communications