Pollen Test Gives 1st Big Break in 'Baby Doe' Case

But why won't anyone come forward?
By Neal Colgrass,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 12, 2015 9:00 PM CDT
'First Big Break' in Case of Girl Found in Trash Bag
In this photo taken, July 31, 2015, Massachusetts State Trooper Daniel Herman stands at the rocky beach where Baby Doe's body was discovered at Deer Island near Boston.   (Suzanne Kreiter/The Boston Globe via AP)

Seems "Baby Doe" was a local girl. A pollen test has given investigators "their first big break" in the case of a young girl found in a trash bag on a Boston beach in June, NBC News reports. The test shows "Baby Doe"—who was around 4 years old and remains unidentified—had pollen on her blanket and pants that match pollen types in the Boston area. "That's somewhat reassuring, because that's been a theory from the start," says Jake Wark, a spokesman for Suffolk County District Attorney Dan Conley. Yet hundreds of tips and dozens of checks with families who have similar children have turned up nothing. An autopsy found no cause of death, and a DNA test came up empty.

What could help: Her decomposition was in the early stages, so she hadn't been dead for long. And the pollen indicates she hadn't washed up on Deer Island, so investigators can focus there. "At least it's a geographic location that we can target, as opposed to the entire world," says Wark, who adds that the island is "the kind of place that an outsider wouldn't know too well." Authorities have also posted 84 billboards with her computer-generated image and posted a tweet with her pants and blanket. But how can a little girl just go missing? Could be her family lacked legal documentation, investigators tell the Boston Globe. Or maybe she died by accident and her parents are lying low. "Maybe there are people missing her, but they’re afraid to come forward," an official says. (More dead child stories.)

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