Police and paramedics descended on Crocheron Park in the Bayside neighborhood of Queens just after 7:30 a.m. when a jogger reported the purple-skinned doll lying face-down in the grass. The doll was dressed in a diaper and t-shirt with the words "The Crawling Dead" emblazoned on it.
“It appeared to be a baby with discoloration consistent with signs of prolonged death, but thankfully, it was actually a lifelike prop,” New York Fire Department spokesman Myles Miller told The Associated Press.
A crime scene tent was set up and yellow police tape blocked off an area near where the discovery was made. Police initially reported the "baby" to be three months old and even zipped it up in a body bag, according to Fox 5 New York.
A local resident told the station that up to 200 officers were canvassing the park to look for evidence at one point.
The error was discovered when the doll was retrieved.
The NYPD and the New York Fire Department’s Emergency Medical Service are investigating the incident.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.