Police Investigating After Dead Baby Dug Up by Family Dog

Couple were shocked when their dog unearthed a dead infant in the backyard.

ByABC News
December 31, 2008, 12:19 PM

Dec. 31, 2008— -- Police are investigating the discovery of a dead infant after a Florida family's dog dug up the body in the backyard.

Henry McGill said his wife was outside with their dog Coco Monday afternoon when the 2½-year-old Labrador retriever-pit bull mix ran into the woods on the family's property in Milton, about 35 miles north of Pensacola.

"She saw her take a few swipes at the soil," Henry McGill, 43, said. "Like she was digging."

As Tonya McGill, 40, went over to see what Coco had found, the dog -- who had her left front leg amputated when she was 10 months old -- came back out of the woods and "kind of laid the body at my wife's feet," Henry McGill said. "At first she didn't know what it was because it had dirt on it and everything."

Once the couple realized it was a human baby, Henry McGill, who had been power-washing the house out front, immediately dialed 911.

He said the baby was naked and missing its left arm.

"It [the arm] looked like it had been pulled away," he said. "The detective told me he saw bear tracks in the woods."

Anyone with information about the baby or its mother can call the Santa Rosa Sheriff's Office at 850-437-STOP.

But police are saying very little about the investigation.

Sgt. Scott Haines from the Santa Rosa Sheriff's Office told ABCNews.com that the baby was "recently newborn" but Haines would not release the infant's gender or race.

An autopsy was performed on the child Tuesday but authorities have not yet released a cause of death. Haines said the baby had been in the woods for "a few days. That's our guess."

Haines said he couldn't comment on what leads police are investigating to find the baby's mother. "We have been receiving some assistance from the public," he said.

And the McGill family, he added, has been "extremely cooperative."

Henry McGill said he believes the baby was left on his property at random. His house sits on three acres, bordered in a U shape by woods and close to the highway.

"It's out in the country," he said.