CHARLESTON, S.C. — Two unborn babies were found at a wastewater treatment plant in South Carolina last Monday, prompting an investigation by law enforcement.
According to reports, workers at the Plum Island Wastewater Treatment Plant found the dead babies in the water on Aug. 8. as they were cleaning out the filter screens at the plant. They spotted a small hand, then the rest of the infant’s body—then another baby. Neither child was fully intact.
Police were called to the scene, and were taken to the pump station to be shown the preterm babies.
The babies had been found in the headworks, where the wastewater flows in. Officials state that the infants could have only entered the system by either being flushed down the toilet or placed in a manhole. The bodies were turned over by police to the Charleston County Coroner’s Office for further review.
Coroner Rae Wooten told the Post and Courier that while the gestational age of the babies is not known, they appear to be in the second trimester. It is also unknown as to how long the babies had been in the water.
“We don’t have anywhere to start,” Wooten told the outlet in regard to identifying where the babies had been disposed. “It is probably a very isolated situation.”
The facility serves over 54,000 homes and businesses in Charleston, West Ashley, and James Island.
In January, a baby was also reported to have been found at the Bucklin Point Wastewater Treatment Facility in East Providence, Rhode Island. The medical examiner’s office concluded that the child was a male 19 to 20 weeks in gestation.
Police sought out the mother of the child, but no new information has been released about the matter.
“We’re hoping an appeal to the public may lead us to the mother,” East Providence Police Capt. Richard Frazier told reporters. “We’re hoping to get some tips from the public.”
The plant serves the cities of East Providence, Pawtucket, Central Falls, Smithfield, Cumberland and Lincoln.
“It’s very sad to see that a life couldn’t continue and become the person that they were supposed to be. Very, very sad,” neighbor Betty DeCrescenzo told WPRI-TV.