The foetus found in a garbage bag on Tuesday at the Beetham landfill site was yesterday confirmed to be a full term (nine months) baby girl with no possible genetic disease, according to pathologist Dr Valery Alexandrov.
In an interview, Alexandrov said two tests which were seemingly important to prove the baby was born alive were a floating test of the lungs, and a gastrointestinal floating test.
Alexandrov said when the autopsy was performed he did not find any genetic abnormalities, and not even any potential disease could have contributed to the death of the infant.
“A floating test was conducted and showed air went into the baby lungs. If the baby just made one breath being alive, the air got into the lungs so in stillborn babies when the lugs are put into a container with water and the lungs do not have any air they sink... they go to the bottom.” He continued, “If the baby took just one breath the air goes straight to the lungs, and when the lungs are placed into the container with water they float.”
He said other test, a gastrointestinal floating test was done to determine if air also went to the baby’s stomach.
“The same rule apply, when you put the stomach of the stillborn into the container with the water, all goes done. If the baby just took one breath, only one breath and there is air in the stomach it floats. The lungs, the stomach and the gastrointestinal track were floating which means the baby was born alive.” He continued, “The baby was perfectly well developed weighting 3kilogrammes and 51 centimetres in height...in length which means the baby was perfectly developed and full term, nine months. Absolutely a normal baby girl. The umbilical cord was cut and a small one centimetre long stomp was left. She was not premature. She was totally matured.”
Alexandrov said he was challenged on what to put on the death certificate of the baby.
“I put, abandonment in hostile environment of a new born viable full term infant.” He said according to national standards in his profession there is rules and regulations to follow and indicated that the case should be treated as an infanticide to investigate until proven otherwise.
“Leaving the innocent child all alone, absolutely helpless new born in a hostile environment is a homicide. If the baby was put into a box then a garbage, the baby had a lack of oxygen and if the baby was put in the box and then in a plastic bag probably this little baby was going through hyperthermia. For a baby of this age, I think all it takes is a matter of minutes to die. Maybe ten minutes or so.”
He said for the sake of possible identification, if the police find the mother of the baby, samples of the baby’s bone marrow and bones from the thigh were kept to prove the baby belongs to the mother for future analysis.
According to police reports, the infant was found by workmen while they were offloading a garbage truck.
When contacted Social Development and Family Services Minister Cherrie-Ann Crichlow-Cockburn, Newsday was told by a family member that she was in a meeting and to call back later at night.