Baby Austin Unidentified W/N Male Newborn (Possibly Premature)
Found July 11, 1984 In Greenwood Township, Columbia County
On July 11, 1984, by the Austin Trail near Millville in rural Columbia County, a family dog dragged the remains of an infant into it's owner's yard.
The body had been damaged by animals and the upper torso was missing, but the head and lower torso were located. The umbilical cord was still attached. The child appeared to doctors to be a male, at approximately 7 1/2 months gestation, delivered prematurely. It is unknown if the child was born alive or not. Cause of death could not be determined. The boy was buried at the New Rosemont Cemetery in Espy.
Shirley Walters, a Millville area woman, touched by the circumstances of the unknown child's case, adopted him as her grandson. She named him "Austin", since he had been found by the Austin Trail. She, along with donations from several other area people, purchased a gravestone for the child adorned with an angel. Through the generosity of a local supplier, the cost of the gravestone was a mere $100. Ms. Walters helped to arrange the funeral and got permission from the courthouse to tend to the child's gravesite. Through the years, she would add different decorations that reflected the age that Austin would be had he lived. It was a labor of love that would continue for the next twenty years, when the limitations of age would prevent her from being able to continue. But her nephew has taken over for her, and has pledged to keep tending the gravesite as long as he is able.
Baby Austin's case remains unsolved.
State Police Cpl Michael Reffeor reopened the case and learned that a bone sample had been saved in the evidence file when the child was buried. The sample was sent to the University of North Texas where a DNA profile was created. That profile has been entered into a national DNA database. While chances are slim, this could be the key to finding out where Baby John Doe came from, if his mother or another relative are entered into the database.
If you have any information about this case, please contact:
Pennsylvania State Police Troop N - Bloomsburg 570-387-4261