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Police identify mother of newborn left to freeze to death 32 years ago

Dave Altimari and Steven Goode, The Hartford Courant on

Published in News & Features

HARTFORD, Conn. -- Meriden, Conn., police have identified the mother of a newborn boy left to freeze death in a parking lot 32 years ago.

Police Chief Jeffry Cosette said the baby's mother is Karen Roche, who was 25 at the time she abandoned the boy and still lives in the city.

Detectives spoke with her on Jan. 2 and she admitted to being the boy's mother. A DNA test taken last week confirmed it.

Cosette said Roche is not expected to face charges in connection with the death of the baby, who was given the name David Paul by local clergy, because the statute of limitations had expired and it would be difficult to prove intent for murder.

Cossette said that they believe that baby was left in parking lot on Dec. 28 and wasn't found until Jan. 2. There is record of a call to volunteer fire department on Dec. 28 that there's "something in the parking lot."

Police did not identify the father Tuesday but do not believe that "he knew anything."


The department identified the mother through the use of genetic DNA testing with help from a group called IdentiFinders International.

The California-based company specializes in trying to identify unidentified victims from older cases where sometimes it is difficult to obtain DNA.

Meriden police sent 13 pieces of evidence to the FBI's crime lab in Quantico, Va., for DNA analysis in 2001. Among those items were the pink and white blankets that David Paul was found wrapped in when his frozen body was found in a parking lot on Evansville Avenue.

Investigators long suspected that the mother's DNA also was on the blankets.


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