SEATTLE – Authorities combing through 60 tons of trash, searching for the body of a baby allegedly dumped by his 16-year-old mother, found a dead infant in the garbage Monday.
Port Angeles Police Chief Terry Gallagher said it could take weeks to get the DNA test results that will show whether the baby is that of the teenager arrested Friday for investigation of first- or second-degree murder.
In a brief hearing Monday in Clallam County Superior Court, bail was set at $500,000 for the girl, who remained in juvenile detention. Prosecutor Deborah S. Kelly said the girl will be charged as an adult, and a hearing on charges against her was set for Wednesday.
Bail was set at $10,000 for her father, Ronald Last Jr., 41. He was charged Monday with concealing a birth, a gross misdemeanor, and felony drug and firearms possession counts, the prosecutor said. He remained in the Clallam County jail.
Police believe the baby boy died after his birth Dec. 30 and was put in trash that was picked up the next day. The trash was in two containers that were taken to a transfer station in Tacoma, about 80 miles southeast of Port Angeles, for shipment to Oregon, Waste Connections Inc. officials said.
The containers, containing 60 tons of garbage, were intercepted and taken to Graham, about eight miles southeast of Tacoma, where there was more room to use heavy machinery to help comb through the contents, Gallagher said.
A woman told police Friday that she had seen a baby in a trash can in an alley behind the girl's house, but the can was empty when officers arrived, Gallagher told the Peninsula Daily News in Port Angeles.
"This is a very sad case," Gallagher told the newspaper. "I think it is particularly tragic that this girl had so little support that she wasn't able to recognize any other option than what happened."
The 16-year-old moved in October from Pueblo, Colo., where her mother lives, to her father's home in Port Angeles, about 65 miles northwest of Seattle. Four other men and several other juveniles also lived at the house, he added.
Law enforcement in Pueblo has been contacted, and investigators have determined that the father of the baby was an adult, Gallagher said.
During a search of the Port Angeles home, police found a gun and what first appeared to be a pipe bomb but turned out to be a device that can be attached to the bottom of a car for transporting illegal drugs.