The Washington Post

Infant abandoned in District died of hypothermia in death medical examiner ruled a homicide

A naked infant girl found abandoned in January on the steps of a home in the Woodridge neighborhood of Northeast Washington died of hypothermia, a death the medical examiner has ruled a homicide.

A passing neighbor discovered the baby on steps outside a home in the 3000 block of Channing Street NE shortly before midnight Jan. 15. City temperatures hovered around 28 degrees at the time, National Weather Service records.

The District’s medical examiner’s office does not release more than the cause and manner of death, spokeswoman Beverly Fields said Thursday.

District police had been investigating the death and previously sought public help in locating anyone with information about the infant’s parents. On Thursday, the department could not provide additional details, said Office Tisha Gant, a police spokeswoman.

A man returning to his home after a cigar run to a neighborhood store spotted a bundle on another home’s stoop and thought it might be a baby doll. Emmanuel Dugger, 35, and his father called paramedics and tried to warm the baby in their home. She was pronounced dead at a local hospital a few hours later.

In 2009, the District enacted the Safe Haven law, which allows parents of unwanted babies less than a week old to drop them off at hospitals and fire or police stations without risk of prosecution, as long as the child remains unharmed. It is unclear why the baby was left at the specific doorstep on Channing Street.

Read more: The Post’s crime coverage

Mary Pat Flaherty works on investigative and long-range stories. Her work has won numerous national awards, including the Pulitzer Prize.

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