MOUNT LAUREL, N.J. – The search for the remains of a Jersey City baby apparently thrown in the trash by a hospital has moved to Kentucky, but police fear the corpse has already been incinerated.
Police have been looking for the body of Bashere Davon Moyd Jr. since Jan. 2, when it was discovered missing from the morgue at Christ Hospital.
The remains were apparently thrown away with the hospital's trash sometime between Dec. 21 and Jan. 2, police said. Kentucky State Police said they were working Jersey City authorities to secure railcars that may have transported the waste.
The hospital said Wednesday it was working with police to find the remains and was changing morgue procedures "to prevent a similar tragedy from happening again."
Police were searching a landfill in Ashland, Ky., where the waste may have been transferred, Jersey City police chief Thomas Comey said in a statement posted on the department's Web site. But Comey said he was also fearful the waste was sent elsewhere and may have already been incinerated.
The Big Run Landfill being searched by police does not have an incinerator, said Charles B. Fromm, vice president of EnviroSolutions, which operates the landfill. He declined to provide details of the search because of the ongoing police investigation.
The baby was delivered Dec. 21. Hospital officials say the baby was stillborn, but the mother, 26-year-old Kalynn Moore, said her son was born alive with a weak heartbeat and died about 20 minutes later as doctors tried to save him.
Moore's lawyer, Michael Anise, said he is reviewing a death certificate and medical records from the hospital that say the baby was stillborn.
"That is not our main focus as much as the fact that we had a baby's body here," Anise said Wednesday.
Hospital officials declined to answer questions but issued a statement Wednesday saying they are cooperating with authorities and Anise.
"The physicians and staff of Christ Hospital provided excellent emergency medical care that protected the life of Kalynn Moore while attempting extraordinary measures to bring life to her stillborn son," the statement said. "We are confident a review of the medical procedures will reach the same conclusion."
Whether the child was stillborn is an important legal distinction because New Jersey law does not recognized stillborn babies as human.
Anise, who has said that a lawsuit is likely, maintains there is no reason for the body of a fetus to have been thrown into the trash.
Anise said the body was discovered missing when a funeral home worker went to pick it up from the morgue. He said a morgue employee was able to find the tags that were affixed to the baby's shirt and blanket when he was taken to the morgue.
He had also requested surveillance video from the hospital, hoping it may have shown what happened to the remains. But on Wednesday, he said hospital officials told him that tapes from cameras in the area had been reused.