Updated 05/01/13 – 4:55 p.m.
CHICAGO RIDGE, Ill. (CBS) — Workers at a recycling plant in southwest suburban Chicago Ridge found a dead newborn boy inside a cooler on a conveyor belt early Wednesday morning.
Chicago Ridge Police Chief Robert Pyznarski said the cooler was found shortly after 4 a.m. on a conveyor belt at the Resource Management Companies, at 10111 S. Andersen Av.
CBS 2’s Marissa Bailey reports thousands of items are sorted inside at RMC every day, but after an employee grabbed a soft-shell cooler off the conveyor belt during sorting early Wednesday, he found the unthinkable inside.
“As he was separating it, he came across the soft cooler, and as he lifted it to move it, he noticed it was somewhat heavy,” Pyznarski said.
Tucked inside the tattered cooler, wrapped in a dark towel, the worker found the lifeless body of a newborn baby boy, the umbilical cord still attached.
“When he opened it up, he seen a blue towel, and as he went to go dump the contents out onto the conveyor belt, one of the limbs was exposed,” Pyznarski said. “Then further investigation on his part, he just noticed it was a baby.”
The recycling plant receives materials from multiple states. Police believe the cooler came in on a truck that picked up items from north suburban Waukegan, or Pleasant Prairie, Wis.
“We’ve been in contact with the other departments letting them know what we’ve been doing here,” Pyznarski said.
Police were also waiting for the results of an autopsy to determine how the baby died, but investigators have no leads on exactly where the baby’s body was dumped.
They were reaching out to the public for any information that might help them identify the baby, or his parents.
“We’re asking for everybody’s help from northern Illinois and Wisconsin if they know anybody that’s recently had a baby,” he said. “This is a human being. For this to occur the way it did, and for us to find it in this situation, I think is very sad.”
Both Illinois and Wisconsin have “Safe Haven” laws allowing parents to leave unwanted, unharmed newborns at hospitals, fire stations, or police stations. In Illinois, the baby can be no older than 30 days old; in Wisconsin, the baby can be up to 3 days old.