Found April 7, 1996 in Hazelwood, Allegheny County
It was Easter Sunday morning, April 7, 1996, when two parishioners of St Paul's Lutheran Church in Hazelwood discovered the body of a newborn infant in an alley between St Paul's and the adjacent property at Mansion St & Gate Lodge Way.
The baby was unclothed, lying next to a pink towel. Perhaps the boy's mother didn't realize that churches are not open 24 hours anymore. Maybe she didn't realize that the temperature in the April night would dip to 26 degrees, or that the child would roll out of his protective covering. His cause of death was exposure - he froze to death.
His body was kept at the county morgue for almost 3 months, waiting for someone to come and claim him, but his parents never came forward.
The people of Hazelwood adopted the boy as their own, naming him "Baby Joseph" after the husband of Jesus' mother. Hazelwood funeral director Mark V. Sauvageot organized a memorial service and donated the tiny cream & black casket. An anonymous woman donated the white christening gown, cap, socks and booties that Baby Joseph would be clothed in. The was a teddy bear, a rattle, a pink afghan and a large white Easter bunny with a blue bow. Several women wrote poems and a book was dedicated to the local library in the name that the citizens of Homewood had given him.
On June 28, 1996, Baby Joseph was buried at Homewood Cemetery, in a site donated by the cemetery - at the edge of a level plot, near the graves of some 50 other babies who died before him.
If you have any information that could lead to the identity of Baby Joseph, please contact:
Pittsburgh Police Department Homicide Division 412-323-7161