ROCKFORD (WIFR) – It’s been one year since a local infant was found dead inside a Roscoe recycling plant. We’re told the mother still hasn’t been found.
12 months later, investigators are left with more questions than answers. Baby Noah’s death weighs heavily on the minds of the Winnebago County Coroner’s Office where employees there say it’s one of the hardest cases they’ve ever handled.
“It's hard, it’s your case and the fact you don’t have any closure on it, it's hard."
It's been a long year for Matthew Lane. Out of the dozens of cases he's handled as a deputy coroner, there's one he can't seem to get past.
"You replay the case in your head, what you saw."
Lane was assigned to the Baby Noah investigation last July. Investigators say the infant was found dead on a conveyor belt at a Roscoe recycling plant, thrown away like a piece of trash.
Autopsy reports show he was a healthy baby, likely born alive.
“Someone is out there doing some talking, feeling bad that the baby was thrown away, and that's OK, come forward and let’s get this taken care of.”
Lane has a special tie to the case. Not only did he carry the infant out of the plant, but he named the newborn after taking him to the hospital for x-rays.
"The hardest part that day was physically carrying him out of there, because it all sinks in," Lane said.
The Winnebago County Sheriff's Department says they are actively working on the case, following up with leads frequently. Tips that have yet to take detectives to Baby Noah’s mother.
Detectives say Baby Noah could have come from anywhere, meaning his mother could have been from out of state and dumped him in a Stateline trash can. There so many scenarios possible. The sheriff's Department is also hoping to track down the infant's mother by matching DNA.