Sewer workers find fetus flushed down toilet by mother

Wednesday, January 24, 2018
Sewer workers find fetus flushed down toilet by mother
Investigators said workers were disturbed by what they found inside this Baton Rouge sewer: a fetus.

BATON ROUGE, Louisiana -- A crew working to clean a sewer in Louisiana made a gruesome discovery after coming across an obstruction on Saturday.

VIEWER WARNING: Story may be too graphic for sensitive audiences.

Deputies say workers reached into the sewer and pulled out a fetus, measuring between three to five inches, WBRZ-TV reports.

Investigators in Baton Rouge say the fetus was flushed down the toilet, but do not know the identity of the mother.

Pam Haley, who lives near the site where the fetus was found, said she was disturbed by what the workers found.

"It's horrible. I think it's disturbing for people to just throw a baby away like that in the sewer, and I hope whoever did, I hope they will speak up," Haley said.

Officials with the East Baton Rouge Parish Coroner's Office said because of federal and state laws, the mother wouldn't face charges of feticide.

Charges are possible when the fetus has reached more than 20 weeks or 350 grams. That is when the fetus is legally recognized as a person, Dr. Beau Clark said.

An autopsy performed on the male fetus shows a gestational age of about 20 weeks and a weight of 268 grams. The exam also indicated the baby was born stillborn and never took a breath.

Still, Haley says disposing of a baby in the sewer is no way to treat an incident like this.

"You don't flush it," Haley said. "No you don't."

Investigators do not know the circumstances surrounding her miscarriage.