Infants found floating in area waters in 2003, 2007
Goodhue County law enforcement officials still hope that someday someone will come forward with useful information about three babies found dead in area waters since 1999.
"We have been humbled because we haven't been able to (solve these cases)," said Capt. Pat Thompson, who also worked on the Jessica Swanson abduction and murder in the 1990s. "My hope is that someone will come forward with the details as well as a reason why this happened. Each year in Minnesota and in the United States you read or hear about decades old cases that get solved because one person stepped forward or a science based lead breaks the case wide open. We are doing everything we can to develop something that will solve them."
The first child - an infant girl - was found in 1999 wrapped in a towel in the harbor near Red Wing's Bay Point Park.
A baby boy was found in 2003 by a group of teenagers along the shoreline in Frontenac.
In 2007, two workers at Prairie Island marina discovered the body of a newborn girl floating near one of the marina's docks.
Authorities have continued to receive and follow up on tips over the years, but the amount of information has dwindled the past few years, Thompson said.
A few years ago DNA analysis from a private Florida lab provided local law enforcement a crucial piece of information - there is a high likelihood the same woman mothered two newborn children dumped into the Mississippi River in 1999 and 2003.
Just this year authorities turned to social media for help.
The Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension in March established a Facebook page to get the public's help with cold cases, missing persons and Amber Alerts.
Abby - a name given by local residents to the missing baby found in 2007 - and dozens of other cases are highlighted on the BCA's site.
Information about the two other babies is included on the BCA's page through a link to cold case playing cards the department released in 2008.
Investigators believe Abby's body may have been in the water for as long as six months before being found. DNA evidence indicates there is as much as a 70 percent chance she is American Indian.
Authorities believe the other two babies are Caucasian and had the same mother.
Thompson said authorities are hopeful science will help them develop a credible lead. He said local officials have been in contact with the BCA and two out-of-state agencies about possibly conducting a familial DNA search to look for relatives of the babies.
The process is problematic because it would yield thousands of possible hits with potentially no matches though Thompson said it is still an option investigators are considering.
"I am hopeful that as DNA science progresses the number of potential science based leads will increase," he said.
If you have any information about the baby girl, call the BCA Tip Line at (877) 996-6222 or the Goodhue County Sheriff's Office at (651) 385-3155. To become a fan of the BCA on Facebook, follow this link www.facebook.com/pages/Saint-Paul-MN/MnDPS_BCA-Bureau-of-Criminal-Appreh...