Woman found in downtown Bangor carrying fetus in bag says it’s not hers, police say

Posted March 04, 2013, at 2:47 p.m.
Last modified March 05, 2013, at 8:39 a.m.

BANGOR, Maine — The woman who was found downtown carrying a fetus in a bag on Friday afternoon told police that she is not the mother, Bangor police Sgt. Paul Edwards said Monday.

“We may never know who this is,” Edwards said. “We’re not certain … it is hers.”

Police went to Pickering Square at about 2 p.m. Friday after receiving reports about the woman, who has not been identified, walking around with the deceased fetus.

“She denied it was hers,” Edwards said.

Dr. Ed David of the state medical examiner’s office examined the remains, which were inside a plastic container in a plastic shopping bag, Edwards said.

The age of the fetus, gender and the cause and time of death are all questions Edwards referred to the medical examiner’s office, which is scheduled to do an autopsy sometime this week. A message left with the medical examiner’s office Monday was not returned.

The woman was interviewed, and “based on that interview we don’t know who it is,” the sergeant said, referring to the deceased fetus.

The only detail police are releasing about the woman is that she is from Bangor. Why she was walking around with the fetus was not released, but Edwards said she was not given a mental evaluation.

DNA will be used to try to determine who the parents are, but it is limited by the number of people with DNA currently on file, Edwards said.

“It could be pending for quite some time,” he said. “We may never know.”

The department’s Criminal Investigation Division is handling the case, and no one has been charged. Investigators also went to High Street on Friday and closed the street briefly to collect evidence that may be related to the case, Sgt. Garry Higgins said at the time.

Under state law, “transportation and final disposition of fetal remains, regardless of gestation, are subject to the same regulations as dead bodies.”

That means a burial-transit permit is required to move a body, Assistant Attorney General Andrew Benson said Monday.

Those caught without a permit face a misdemeanor charge that carries a penalty of up to 11 months in jail and a fine of not more than $200, the law states.

BDN reporter Andrew Neff contributed to this story.

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