Investigators looking for parents of dead baby found in backpack

FOX 32 NEWS - Investigators are trying to locate the parents of a dead infant known as "Baby Hope.”

Officials have used DNA samples to create images of what those parents might look like.

“Somebody out there knows something, and they need to come forward and let us know,” said Detective Sergeant Jeff Christiansen of the DuPage County Sheriff’s Department.

DuPage County sheriff's detectives are pleading for the public's help in identifying the parents of the dead infant known as Baby Hope. The newborn was found dead inside a backpack in unincorporated Wheaton in mid-August. Nearby, investigators found a toilet seat cover and a bathroom rug.

On Thursday, police displayed what are called snapshot composites, showing what the infant's parents may have looked like.

“It is important to note that snapshot composites are scientific approximations of appearance based on DNA and are not likely to be exact replicas of appearance,” Christiansen said.

Factors like smoking, drinking and eating habits can alter the appearance, as could the existence of facial hair or different hairstyles. DNA can't display age or body size, so averages were used for both. The composites were created at a Virginia-based lab through a process called DNA phenotyping.

Investigators say the DNA shows that the parents are Latinos. Toxicology results show the mother was using a prescription drug called Lamotrigine, commonly prescribed for epilepsy, bipolar or sleep disorders.

Investigators say they've had plenty of leads in the case, but still need the public's help.

“If you know someone who was pregnant and does not now have her baby, we need to hear from you,” Christiansen said.

Investigators are calling the Baby Hope case an active death investigation. The coroner found the cause of death to be undetermined, rather than concluding it was accidental or a homicide.

The Illinois Crime Commission has offered a five thousand dollar reward for information that helps investigators locate Baby Hope's parents.

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