The decomposed remains of a newborn infant were found in the attic of a La Plata home last week and Charles County Sheriff’s office detectives are trying to identify the child’s mother, officials said.

Residents of the home found the remains Friday as they cleaned out the attic of the house and they called police, said Diane Richardson, a spokeswoman. The remains were sent to the state medical examiner’s office for an autopsy, she said.

Clarence Williams is the night police reporter for The Washington Post and has spent the better part of 13 years standing next to crime scene tape, riding in police cars or waking officials in the middle of night to gather information about breaking news in and around Washington.