UPDATE: Deceased GA newborn found in a cooler found to be full-term child

Updated: Jan. 8, 2019 at 5:58 PM EST
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TROUP COUNTY, GA (WTVM) - Preliminary autopsy results of a deceased newborn discovered inside a cooler on the side of the road in Troup County have been released.

The child was found to be a full-term, white female with no obvious signs of trauma or injury. A cause of death has not yet been determined.

Deputies with the Troup County Sheriff’s Office were dispatched to Boy Scout Road off New Franklin Road around 3:20 p.m.

When they arrived on the scene, deputies and investigators discovered what appeared to be a deceased newborn child in a portable cooler bag. Officials describe the cooler bag as light blue in color with pictures of watermelon slices and zips at the top, front and sides.

“The child appears to be a newborn, maybe a few days or up to a few weeks old is what we can tell at this point," said Stewart Smith, public information officer at the Troup County Sheriff’s Office. “We didn’t take the child out of the cooler. Once it was determined it was deceased, we left it where it was. The crime lab will tell us if it was a boy or girl, and the manner of death.”

Witnesses in the area stated the cooler had been on the side of the road near the wood-line for several days, possibly up to a week.

“If anybody knows anybody that may have that cooler, that may recently had a child or was pregnant, or if you were the individual who had the child and did this, please give us a call," said Smith. "We want to talk to you to try and figure out what happened.”

Authorities said this is not how to deal with this situation, citing safe drop off and safe haven laws that legally allow you to drop off a baby at hospitals, police departments., and fire departments. A child has to physically be handed to a staff member. A child cannot be left unattended.

An autopsy is scheduled for Tuesday at the GBI Crime Lab.

Further drug testing may take up to several weeks or months.

If anyone has any information regarding this case you are asked to call our investigators at 706-883-1616 or Crime Stoppers at 706-812-1000.

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