Memorial service held for 'Baby Doe' found in landfill 35 years ago
Columbiana, Ala. —
35 years ago, a baby girl's body was found in a Shelby County landfill. 35 years later, though her identity remains a mystery, she can now rest in peace.
Wednesday a memorial service for "Baby Doe" was held at the Columbiana City cemetery. That's where the girls body was buried in 1982. The Shelby County Sheriff's Office says they held the ceremony now to recognize the baby, honor her life with a grave marker, and generate community interest.
About 30 people came to pray for "Baby Doe" at the Columbiana City cemetery.
Reserve Deputy Sheriff Jim Dormuth said, "This is a human being who was found in the landfill and she deserves to be acknowledged and recognized."
Dormuth is part of the Shelby County Sheriff's Office Cold Case Unit. Baby Doe's case was re-opened in 2013.
"It was published in 1982 in newspaper articles at that time that the baby was found in the debris field for a Columbiana city trash truck," said Dormuth.
Dormuth believes the baby girl is from Columbiana, and he also senses someone in the community knows what happened to the infant.
"We need the community to come forward and speak to us."
Dormuth acknowledges there is new technology that could help identify Baby Doe, but there's one problem.
"Her grave site was unmarked and unrecorded so we don't have a body to work with....there are other unmarked, unrecorded graves in this area so we need a little bit of help to determine where her likely grave site is."
For now the marker, donated by Shelby Granite, will serve to memorialize Baby Doe and remind people there is a life that needs closure.
Dormuth said they are not looking at this as a homicide and are not looking to press charges related to this baby's death. Their main focus right now is to identify her.