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January '10

Tuesday, 24 November 2009

Jim Cairns

Deputy Chief Coronor – Province of Ontario

A Mummified Baby Speaks

Jim told us a fascinating story from about 10 years ago.

 A successful Toronto Business woman in her mid 40’s died. When cleaning out her Harbourfront condo a mummified baby was found in a garbage bag in her storage area.  Before her death, the mother indicated she had an adopted 15 year old daughter and friends were to be the daughter’s guardians.

 Jim’s department investigated the mummified body.  It was determined the baby died within 24 hours of birth. DNA proved that the deceased woman was the mother of the baby.

She had been treated for bladder cancer for more than 7 years so the baby was born prior to that. 
The baby was wearing a baby shirt and diaper.  The diaper manufacturer (Huggies) was contacted to help determine when the baby died.  Huggies advised that the diaper was last manufactured in 1984.  

The investigators determined that the woman had a male companion at that time who now lived in England.  He was contacted and admitted to having a sexual affair with the woman - his DNA was also a match.  Thus the parentage of the mummified baby was resolved.

An interesting twist to the story was that the guardians of the adopted daughter, contacted Jim’s area because they could find no record (birth certificate, adoption records, OHIP number etc.) of the girl.  On further checking DNA proved the deceased woman was also her mother.  Although the mother indicated the girl had been homeschooled, there was no record of this.  The girl was articulate and seemed educated. She said everything she knew she had learned from The Learning and Discovery Channels.  When she entered the school system, she was in the 90th percentile within 3 months.  She went onto university and is now doing Ph. D in Psychology.  It was never determined who her father was but she inherited her mother’s  $5,000,000 estate and she has established contact with her mother’s family.

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