ROSCOE, Ill. (CBS) — Employees of a recycling plant near Rockford made a gruesome discovery Friday morning as they were separating a load of garbage into paper, plastics and cardboard.

The Total Waste Recycling plant in unincorporated Winnebago county collects trash from both Winnebago and Boone counties.

During the recycling process, employees found a newborn boy, unclothed, still with his umbilical cord attached. His body, discovered on a conveyor belt, was spared before it was dropped and mixed with landfill-bound garbage.

“I don’t even want to think what would have happened at that point,” Winnebago county deputy chief of detectives Dominic Iasparro tells WBBM Newsradio’s Michele Fiore.

An autopsy could determine if the boy was born alive. If he was, police will pursue charges.

LISTEN: WBBM Newsradio’s Michele Fiore reports

Watch & Listen LIVE