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Baby found dead in suitcase last summer will finally be laid to rest Oct. 25

SAN ANTONIOUPDATE: The funeral for Devin Stripling and Caleb Vigil is scheduled for 9 a.m. Friday, Oct. 25, at the Castle Ridge Mortuary at 8008 W Military Drive. 

(Previously)

On Tuesday afternoon, Eagles Flight Advocacy and Outreach got the green light to proceed with a proper burial of an infant whose body was found inside a suitcase more than a year ago. 

"It feels great to be able to say that we are going to take that final step for this baby and be able to lay him rest," said Pamela Allen, CEO of the organization.

Bexar County Sheriff's Office investigators stumbled upon the disturbing discovery of the deceased infant, 3-month-old Devin Stripling, while searching a home on Bronco Lane for cocaine.

"When his body was found that was a horrible thing," Allen said. "It was a horrible discovery. We were asked to help and run alongside the sheriff's department to help bring this baby to a final resting place, and we waited so, so long."

Since Devin was found, his body has been closely examined.

"I don't know that they were able to find a cause of death and I do know they did look extensively," Allen said. "The baby's body was being examined by several agencies to make sure that there was no foul play."

Allen said there are still many unanswered questions, but they learned about one disturbing detail in Devin's case.

"From what we know, and the matter of public record, was that that baby was born in 2006," Allen said.

Allen said the next step is to bury Devin along with another baby, Caleb Vigil, who they learned died earlier this year after he was abandoned by his parents. She said their deaths will bring the number to 26 babies that the organization has had to bury since they started in 2014 with cases involving infant deaths.

Allen said she hopes to raise awareness about the Baby Moses Law, which states that if a mother cannot raise her infant within 60 days of birth, she can safely surrender the child to a fire station, police station or a hospital without any charges being brought against them.

"What we are looking for next year is to start rallying to extend that law from two months to 12 months, hoping that we will get more babies underneath this law and that mothers will not worry about being prosecuted," Allen said.

Allen said though they do not have a clear date set yet, the organization plans to host a memorial for both babies sometime next week at the Castle Ridge Mortuary, with the funeral being held at the Resurrection Cemetery, where other babies have been buried."


About the Author:

Japhanie Gray

From the home of the Seminoles, Japhanie Gray grew up in the town of Osceola, Arkansas. She graduated as the Salutatorian of the Osceola Class of 2011. She attended Arkansas State University, where she participated in the National Association of Black Journalists and the Spanish Honor Society Sigma Delta Pi.