The body of a dead newborn baby was found in a trash bag near an apartment building in Clay County early Tuesday, according to authorities.
County Coroner Danny Finley said a resident of the apartments saw the bag and called police. Police responded to investigate just after 7:30 a.m.
Finley said the cause of the infant’s death was not known Tuesday morning. An autopsy that will help determine the cause of death will likely be conducted Tuesday afternoon.
Finley said the temperature was in the mid-20s when he got to the scene. Medical examiners will check whether the baby died from exposure, lack of air inside the bag or some other reason.
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Finley said he did not know the gender of the baby because authorities wanted to disturb the bag as little as possible before sending the baby for an autopsy.
However, Finley said the baby was likely less than 24 hours old.
That’s because the bag was not hidden. If it had been there on Monday someone likely would have seen it, Finley said.
The baby apparently had been outside in the bag for several hours, he said.
Among other things, police were checking to see if a woman had been to area hospitals for treatment after giving birth elsewhere.
The death had saddened many people, said Clay County Sheriff Angie Johnson.
“Why didn’t she take that child to the hospital and say, ‘I can’t raise it?’ “ Johnson said of the mother. “There’s families waiting on these kids.”
Kentucky State Police, local police and Finley are investigating the death.