SAN ANTONIO – The founder of a local nonprofit said it will try to provide a decent burial for the body of a baby discovered inside a piece of luggage Monday morning along Interstate 37 and Drexel, south of downtown.
"I'm going to do everything I can within my power to bury this baby and make sure it gets laid to rest and is at peace," said Pamela Allen, founder of Eagle's Flight Advocacy and Outreach, a group that also supports special-needs, foster and refugee children.
Allen was instrumental in doing the same for another child in a tragically similar case in December 2013. The body of infant boy who had been strangled turned up at a recycling facility. The remains of the baby went unclaimed even by its mother, who is awaiting trial, until Allen got involved.
At his graveside, Allen said she told Baby Noel, "Baby boy, I promise I'm going to do everything I can to make sure this doesn't happen again."
Yet, despite Allen's efforts to promote the Baby Moses Law, which allows unwanted infants to be turned over at fire stations and hospitals, she said it's been devastating to learn another mother has discarded her baby.
According to a spokesman for Rep. Genie Morrison of Victoria, since the Baby Moses Law was enacted in 1999, at least 1,000 infants have been safely surrendered.
However, it is not yet known whether the Baby Moses Law would have applied in this latest case.
San Antonio police have said an autopsy will try to determine the infant's age, gender and cause of death.
Spokesman Sgt. Javier Salazar said a maintenance worker about to mow weeds near a guardrail, came upon a small piece of luggage about the size of a gym bag or purse.
He said after the worker saw what was inside, he immediately called police.
"Trace evidence is going to be crucial in trying to identify who this child is and who the parents are," Salazar said.
He said investigators are asking the public to help identify the infant and its parents.
"Was someone pregnant recently and then all of a sudden didn't have a baby anymore?" he said.
Salazar said anyone with information is asked to call San Antonio police homicide detectives at 210-207-7635.