Fayette County

Remains in cemetery were fetus

The human remains left in a Lexington cemetery on Thursday were those of a female fetus not thought to be viable, the Fayette County Coroner's Office announced Friday.

A woman who walks her dog every day at Hillcrest Memorial Park discovered the fetus about 2:50 p.m. Thursday in the back of the cemetery and immediately notified a cemetery caretaker.

"She was pretty shaken up," said Carolyn Hale, co-owner of the cemetery. "It was very unsettling."

Hale said the woman, who owns a lot at the cemetery, did not immediately realize what she had found.

"At first she thought it was a doll," Hale said. "She looked closer and realized it looked like a baby."

The woman found the fetus at the back of the cemetery, which is bordered by several apartment complexes. Lexington police say the remains could have been dumped over a fence bordering the cemetery property.

The fetus was of about 22 weeks gestation, the coroner said. An autopsy performed in Frankfort could not determine the child's race. The cause and manner of death were listed Friday as undetermined pending further microscopic study.

Lexington police continued to seek information from the public Friday as investigators worked to determine what charges might be applicable and who was involved.

Police have contacted all hospitals in Fayette County and major medical facilities in surrounding counties to be on the lookout for a woman with medical issues related to having given birth.

If it is determined that the fetus was not capable of living, a charge of concealing the birth of an infant might apply, Lexington police Lt. John Gensheimer said.

Concealing the birth of an infant, a Class A misdemeanor, applies when a person conceals the corpse of a newborn with intent to hide the birth to prevent a determination on whether it was born dead or alive, according to state statutes.