Tuesday, May 22, 2001

Homeowners find baby bones

Police look back 5-20 years

By Tom O'Neill
The Cincinnati Enquirer

Infant bones were found under the patio of this home.
(Patrick Reddy photo)
| ZOOM |
        FORT MITCHELL — The discovery of an infant's skeletal remains in a storage space beneath a house's outdoor patio has police going door to door and forensic experts struggling to determine what happened. And when.

        Tests show the baby was put there anytime between three and 20 years ago, but more likely between five and 10 years ago.

        They don't have much to go on, but the question of when is crucial for police in finding who put the body on the Lucerne Avenue property of Glenn and Becky Moller, state forensic anthropologist Emily Craig said Monday.

        The Mollers, who have lived in the home for 10 years, have been cleared of any suspicion, Fort Mitchell police Sgt. Tom Loos said Monday.

        “Anyone could have put the baby in there,” Sgt. Loos said, adding that the storage area is easily accessible from outside but seldom used by the homeowners.

        Dr. Craig, reached at the state medical examiner's office in Frankfort, said that once a female undergoes DNA testing, it could show whether her DNA matches the baby's, regardless of whether she is the mother, sister, aunt or grandmother.

        “We do anticipate that we will develop a suspect based on information from witnesses,” Sgt. Loos said.

        “We are doing a neighborhood canvass and talking to anyone who is living in the area,” he said. “Basically we're looking for a pregnant mom that lived close to that location who didn't end up with a child.”

        Hair samples showed the the baby was Caucasian, but extensive forensic tests have been unable to determine the sex or age.

        Dr. Craig said bone structure and other clues indicated it was either a full-term fetus, a newborn or an infant up to 3 months old. It is not clear whether it was born alive or was stillborn.

        The mystery began April 28 when Mr. Moller alerted police that he found a paper grocery bag behind rocks in a seldom-used storage area, which is through a doorway under a poured patio 4 feet off the ground on block foundations and reached through a doorway in the patio.

        The bag's contents were in a towel, but Mr. Moller couldn't identify them. Tests at the state police lab in Frankfort this month showed they were scattered baby's bones.

        “At this point we need the help of the media to get the word out, if anyone knows anybody who was carrying a baby,” Dr. Craig said.

        Anyone with information is asked to call Fort Mitchell police at (859) 331-2823 or (859) 356-3191.

        Kakie Urch contributed to this report.


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