SAN ANTONIO – The gathering of mourners at Resurrection Cemetery on Friday braced against the cold wind as they watched two small coffins carefully lowered by hand, side by side into the ground.
Inside were the bodies of 3-month-old Devin Stripling and Caleb Vigil, who died the same day he was born at the hospital where his mother abandoned him.
The only family present was Pamela and Tim Allen, the couple who adopt abandoned infants who've died. And then, with the help of donors, the infants are buried by Allens' organization, Eagles Flight Advocacy and Outreach.
"We're coming together as a community to pay our respects and to give them honor and dignity," Pamela Allen said.
Bexar County Sheriff Javier Salazar and his wife were asked to serve as Devin's honorary godparents.
Salazar said the Stripling case is "one of those cases that is going to stay with me forever."
In 2018, deputies looking for drugs at a house on Bronco Lane, instead came upon the baby's mummified remains.
Salazar said investigators now know the infant was born in 2006 to parents who were transients and likely drug users. He said the mother has since died and the father's whereabouts are unknown.
Before the mother walked out, Salazar said she'd told the father that Devin was asleep.
When the father realized his baby son was dead, Salazar said, "He panicked, purchased a trunk and then stored the baby for several years, well over a decade."
The sheriff said at this point, the case isn't being handled as a criminal act.
"All indications are that the baby most likely died of natural causes," Salazar said. "Unfortunately, we may never know."