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No leads emerge in case of abandoned infant

Two days after the body of a newborn girl was found in a Dumpster at the Holiday Inn Express in Medford, police say they are no closer to solving the case.

Despite heavy media coverage Saturday and Sunday, Medford police detectives had received no tips about who the baby's mother might be or any other new information, said Medford police Detective Sgt. Mike Budreau.

Searches of all of the motel rooms and interviews of all of the staff and guests Saturday yielded no leads, Budreau said.

"We examined every room to see if there was any evidence that a child was delivered there," he said. There was none, he said.

"We are still hoping to get somebody who will call in and help us with this case," Budreau said.

Callers to the police department also provided no new information.

"Mostly we've received inquiries for more information," Budreau said.

An autopsy by Oregon State Police Crime Lab in Central Point, tentatively scheduled for Tuesday, likely will tell police whether the baby was killed and how long she was deceased.

DNA testing will also be conducted at the lab, Budreau said. The autopsy is expected to take two to four hours, he said.

Police have said the baby is a Caucasian female, but no further details are known.

Until the autopsy is completed, the police are treating the case as a homicide, Budreau said.

Mike Foley, who regularly visits the motel's Dumpster on Highway 99 to collect cans and other recyclables, found the baby's body at about 10:30 a.m. Saturday wrapped in a brown T-shirt.

It's possible that someone not associated with the inn could have placed the baby in the Dumpster, Budreau said. Although the trash receptacle is closed off by a metal gate, there is an open slot above the gate where something could have been thrown into the Dumpster. It's also possible that the gate was unlocked.

The last trash pickup at the site was at 9:30 a.m. Friday, Budreau said. The baby appears to have been placed in the Dumpster between then and 10:30 a.m. Saturday, he said.

Budreau said this is the first case of its kind in the more than 15 years he's been with the Medford Police Department.

"This has not happened in my tenure, and several of the officers who have been here longer than me said they don't recall anything like this," he said.

Foley, the 48-year-old homeless man who found the baby, was back at the Dumpster collecting cans and bottles Sunday afternoon.

"I can't get the image of her face out of my head," he said.

Foley said a woman and her daughter stopped by in their car earlier in the day to say a prayer for the child and to express their sympathy for his ordeal of finding her.

He said he has given the baby a name because he's put off by police terms such as "Baby Jane" or "Jane Doe."

"I named her 'Beautiful,'" he said. "I saw her, and she was a beautiful little baby even when she was dead. You've gotta have a name."

Anyone with information about this case is urged to call Medford police at 770-4784.

Reach reporter Paris Achen at 541-776-4459 or pachen@mailtribune.com.