Police in Moline revisit cold cases involving newborns
Investigators in Moline are revisiting a series of cold cases that have one major thing in common: the victims are babies.
Moline Detective Mike Griffin says the Quad Cities, as a whole, experienced a significant amount of abandoned newborns back in the early nineties.
"There's 18 or 20 infantcides in the Quad City area in a year and a half,” Griffin said. “That's an epidemic."
The epidemic Griffin is referring to happened about a decade before Safe Haven laws took effect in both Illinois and Iowa.
"In these cases, their families are the perpetrators of the crime,” Griffin said.
Now, Safe Haven laws allow a certain amount of protection and anonymity to parents who leave their newborns at a fire station or a hospital. That wasn’t the case then. And many of the newborns abandoned in the early nineties died.
"So, it's my job to find justice for these infants."
In Moline, three cases remain unsolved: Baby April, Baby September and Baby Doe.
Each baby was born healthy but eventually wrapped in a garbage bag and dumped into a body of water, either the Mississippi or the Rock River.
"Anytime a young person dies, they haven't fulfilled their life,” Griffin said.
“They haven't been given the chance."
He’s hoping to someday solve these cases. Whether it’s guilt or technological advances, he wants to know who dumped the three newborns, leaving them to die.
"There's two sides to every story. I've got one side right now where it looks like three babies were murdered,” said Griffin.
"There's guilt you live with, I don't care what type of person you are. You can free yourself of that burden."