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Over 40 years after children found a dead baby near a road, Vermont police find infant’s parents and close the case

More than 40 years after Vermont children waiting for a school bus discovered a dead baby on the side of the road, state police say they have found the infant’s parents and no charges will be filed.

The deceased infant was found in Northfield on April 1, 1982, state police said Wednesday. Investigators determined the deceased baby was a recently born boy, but his identity was unknown. An autopsy could not determine the cause of death or whether the baby died because of existing health problems, police said.

“Although the circumstances of the death were never classified as a homicide, investigators always treated this case as a homicide until this classification could be excluded,” police said.

The initial investigation did not reveal any identifying information about the infant or his parents, police said. DNA testing was not available at the time and the case remained unsolved, police said.

Marge Czok, who lives in Northfield, told CBS affiliate WCAX-TV that she was working at a doctor’s office when police began their investigation.

“It was a shock, a total shock,” Czok said. “The doctors were discussing what happened and it was so sad that this happened.”

In 2020, State Police worked with a DNA technology company to conduct genealogy analyses, with the work funded by donations. In 2021, the company provided the possible names of the baby’s biological mother and father, who had ties to the Northfield area in 1982.

Vermont State Police said they contacted the individuals at their homes in Maine and obtained their DNA, which confirmed they were the parents. The father told police he had left Vermont for an extended period of time in 1982 and was unaware of the pregnancy or the disposal of the deceased baby.

The mother admitted to illegally disposing of the deceased baby. She said she did not know she was pregnant and had no symptoms until she started experiencing abdominal pain. She worked alone for several hours and lost consciousness, she told police. She said that when she came to, she realized she had given birth, but the umbilical cord was wrapped around his neck and he did not survive, according to police.

She said she planned to find a place in the woods to bury him, but while walking through the woods, she thought she heard voices and became afraid. She slipped and the baby fell from her arms and she ran, police said.

“They were able to get a lot of details out of her and then spend time with her and talk to her and understand the situation from her perspective, there’s really nothing that would stop us from believing her,” said the State of Vermont. Police Captain Jeremy Hill.

State police met with the county attorney about the case, who determined the murder charges were unjustified, police said. Charges related to unauthorized disposal of a dead body exceed the statute of limitations, police said.

“It took decades to achieve this resolution,” police said in a statement. “The Vermont State Police expresses its gratitude to members of the public who have provided information and donated to help fund genetic testing and analysis.”

In April 1982, a reverend named the baby Matthew Isaac and a funeral was held at St. Mary’s Church in Northfield, police said. Matthew Isaac Doe was buried in Mount Hope Cemetery following the service.

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