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Human remains of infant found at Solid Waste Authority facility in West Palm Beach

Police say remains found on tipping floor of facility
Posted at 3:25 PM, Apr 03, 2024
and last updated 2024-04-03 22:35:28-04

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. — Human remains of an infant have been discovered at a Solid Waste Authority facility in West Palm Beach, police said Wednesday.

West Palm Beach police spokesman Mike Jachles said a worker discovered the human remains just before 5:30 p.m. Tuesday.

"Detectives believe these were human remains of an infant," Jachles said during a news conference Wednesday afternoon.

Jachles said detectives have been "pouring through mounds of garbage with rakes, with tools and by hand, looking for additional remains."

West Palm Beach police search Solid Waste Authority debris after human remains of infant found
West Palm Beach police search through debris at a Solid Waste Authority facility after human remains of an infant are found.

"As of midnight, no other remains were recovered other than the remains the workers had located," Jachles said.

He said the remains were found on the tipping floor, where the garbage trucks dump their loads.

"The load was apparently cleared away and the body parts that were found by that worker remained on the floor," Jachles said.

He said detectives are working to identify the remains and the medical examiner's office will try to determine the infant's cause of death.

"We're not jumping to any conclusions," Jachles said.

A spokeswoman for the SWA had no comment on the investigation.

Former FBI agent Stuart Kaplan outlines how investigators will work to identify the infant and track down the mother.
Former FBI agent Stuart Kaplan outlines how investigators will work to identify the infant and track down the mother.

Former FBI agent Stuart Kaplan compared solving this case to finding a needle in a haystack.

Kaplan said investigators will start from the Solid Waste Facility and work backward using security footage.

This includes determining the bag the infant's body part came from, then the truck, then the route it traveled followed by collecting security footage near dumpsters or its stops.

Kaplan said this isn't an easy task.

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He also said combing through the security footage could require additional manpower and technology from federal agencies like the FBI.

"This is a very technical, painstaking investigation because you literally can miss something at the very beginning stages that may ultimately create a situation where you hit a dead end," Kaplan said.

Kaplan said law enforcement will also look to see if a child was reported missing or abducted.

He also said police publicizing this case gives people the chance to speak up if they haven't seen a child in their neighborhood or saw somebody who was previously pregnant but never saw a child.

Kaplan said law enforcement can likely determine the infant's gender and age within a few hours.