New details released regarding baby's body found on I-37

Medical examiner: Baby was ‘male fetus'

SAN ANTONIO – KSAT 12 News has learned new details about the baby who was found dead on Monday by a highway maintenance worker in a grassy area along Interstate 37 near Drexel Avenue.

A report from the Bexar County Medical Examiner's Office lists the baby as a "male fetus." A staff member also said an autopsy performed on Tuesday was inconclusive when it came to detecting the cause of death.

San Antonio police have been cautious about releasing too many details about the case, for fear of jeopardizing their investigation.

Prior to the disclosure by the medical examiner's office, not even the gender of the baby had been known.

On Monday, police said a maintenance worker found the baby inside a piece of discarded luggage alongside the highway. The worker was cutting grass in the area when he stumbled upon the bag and called 911.

Since then, the case has been somewhat of a mystery for investigators.

However, Sgt. Javier Salazar, a spokesman for SAPD, said quite a few people have called in with tips.

"People are clearly motivated by this case just because of the severity of it. It certainly is a heart-wrenching case," he said.

Salazar said he is "cautiously optimistic" that detectives will solve the case. However, he said it is better for whomever is responsible to come forward on their own, rather than wait until police find them.

"We want to hear that person's side of the story," he said. "It's quite possible that the baby was a fetus -- a stillborn -- and at some point they may have panicked."

Fear, though, may not mean freedom from prosecution. Salazar said there are a number of different criminal charges that could apply in this case, depending on what the circumstances turn out to be.

The state of Texas has specific regulations when it comes to disposing of a fetus in the event of a death, whether it be due to miscarriage or other means.

The state Department of Health Services also requires that a fetal death certificate be filed in all cases involving a fetus weighing at least 350 grams, or about three quarters of a pound.

Both police and the medical examiner's office said they have heard from many people and organizations who want to assist with the burial of the fetus.

However, there has been no timeline discussed yet for any arrangements.

In the meantime, anyone with information on the case is asked to call SAPD's homicide unit at 210-207-7635, or Crime Stoppers at 210-224-STOP (7867).

About the Author: