SHELBY, Ohio– The body of a baby was found inside the trunk of a car at Broadway Automotive and Exhaust in Shelby on Tuesday, according to Shelby Police Chief Charles Roub.
Tuesday night, police said a 17-year-old from Mansfield admitted to police the baby was hers. She said she delivered the baby on her own inside her family’s home sometime at the end of January or the beginning of February. Police think she may have been driving with the baby in her car ever since.
“Initially she was very upset, crying and then she calmed down,” said Cpt. Lance Combs, Shelby Police Dept., “Then she seemed to be very matter of fact about it. She answered all of our questions.”
The teen may have been “matter of fact” but investigators were not taking the case lightly. Chief Roub is a father of 9 and was notably disturbed during a press conference, “It’s sad. It really is. It’s hurtful.”
The severely decomposing remains were uncovered at the auto shop as Ron Hamilton, the shop’s owner, was repairing the girl’s 1993 white Mazda MX3.
“While I was driving the car, I noticed an odor and it just seemed really bad,” said Ron Hamilton, adding, “I popped the trunk and it got worse.”
Hamilton removed a box with a lid from the trunk. He initially thought a critter had crawled inside the vehicle and died, so he placed the box near the trash can. He then called the teen’s mother, who seemed unaware of the box and she told him to throw away the box, but Hamilton was curious and opened the box with a stick.
Inside, he discovered the body of a baby, wrapped in a towel.
“There was a foot and an arm and half a body of a baby inside the towel,” said an emotional Hamilton, while clearing his throat. Hamilton has 5 children of his own and says he can’t understand how a person could treat a baby in this manner.
“I’m still trying to deal with it,” said Hamilton. “It’s unbelievable.”
The Richland County Coroner’s Office has sent the remains to the Summit County Coroner’s office for an autopsy which is standard procedure. The teen was released into the custody of her parents until the autopsy results are completed. No charges have been filed at this time.
It’s unknown if the baby was a miscarriage, stillbirth or viable live birth.
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