In what she described as one of the most somber and quiet autopsies she's ever performed as Winnebago County coroner Sue Fiduccia made a troubling discovery.
"I think all of us had a little bit of hope that maybe the baby was stillborn. The baby was not stillborn; the baby did suffer. Very difficult autopsy today," Fiduccia said.
Fiduccia says the deceased newborn, who investigators named Crystal, died of exposure to the cold. The autopsy also discovered the baby was left outside for up to a week before her discovery, longer than the original estimation of 24 to 48 hours.
"As the autopsy did show, we found no signs of trauma. We found signs that she did take a breath, she did breathe," Fiduccia said.
While the autopsy answered several key questions, the biggest question still left unanswered is just who is the mother.
"We need to be able to talk to mom. We need to find out what she did, also get mom some help, and also be able to inform her family that they do have a baby even though the baby has died," Fiduccia said.
Fiduccia says the coroner's office is working on funeral arrangements, receiving donated blankets and toys for her burial next week.
"We need to find mom, but right now our focus in the coroner's office is to make sure she is put to rest especially at the holiday season," Fiduccia said.
In wake of the tragic discovery, Fiduccia wants the public to know there are safe options, for the mother and the baby.
"We are also trying to get the message about Crystal what happened to her, finding her family, but also letting other people know that there are places you can take your baby to. No questions asked," Fiduccia said.
The Winnebago County Coroner's office plans on having the funeral for the newborn infant either Tuesday or Wednesday. The results of additional toxicology tests are expected in the next four to six weeks. Anyone with any information should contact the Winnebago County Sheriff's Department.