A preliminary autopsy of a baby found dead in a Sterling, Va. pond did not reveal how the newborn died, authorities said Monday.
Loudoun sheriff’s officials said the full-term, newborn girl was likely put in the water soon after birth – her stomach was empty, showing that she hadn’t eaten, they said.
But it wasn’t clear whether the girl was alive when she was left in the pond, officials said. They said the medical examiner’s office could not determine whether there was water in the girl’s lungs because of the state of the body, which had likely been in the water for a couple days. The medical examiner’s office is still working to identify a cause of death.
The baby weighed 7 pounds and was Caucasian or Hispanic, authorities said.
Authorities said they do not believe the infant was born in a hospital, and a search continued Monday for the child’s mother, who they said is likely in need of medical attention.
The baby was discovered floating naked in the pond by a person walking on a path near Steed Place and Awsley Court around 11:42 a.m. Sunday, officials said. The man-made pond is in the CountrySide community in Sterling, surrounded by wooded cul-de-sacs lined with single-family homes.
Loudoun Sheriff’s Office school resource officers visited five Sterling-area high schools Monday – Park View, Dominion, Potomac Falls, Stone Bridge and Broad Run – to share information about the case with students in the hope that the child’s mother might be identified, officials said. Loudoun County Sheriff Mike Chapman also said that he hoped Loudoun County Public Schools might consider including information about options available to pregnant teens as part of the health education curriculum.
Chapman urged the child’s mother to come forward. She is asked to call 703-777-1021 or go to the nearest hospital.
Anyone who has information about the mother’s identity, or saw anything suspicious in the area near Awsley Court, is asked to call 703-777-0475.