Dead newborn found in soft cooler at Ill. recycling plant, parents sought

The body of a newborn baby boy was reportedly found in this soft-shell cooler on a conveyor belt at a Chicago Ridge, Ill. recycling plant on May 1, 2013.
Chicago Ridge Police via CBS Chicago

(CBS) CHICAGO RIDGE, Ill. - Workers at a recycling plant in Chicago Ridge, Ill. found a dead newborn boy inside a cooler on a conveyor belt Wednesday morning, CBS Chicago reports.

Tucked inside a tattered cooler, wrapped in a dark towel, a worker reportedly found the lifeless body of the newborn with the umbilical cord still attached.

Although the recycling plant received materials from multiple states, police believe the cooler came in on a truck that picked up items from north suburban Waukegan, Ill. or Pleasant Prairie, Wis.

As of Wednesday afternoon, investigators had no leads on exactly where the baby's body had been left, the station reports.

Police are reportedly in contact with authorities in other states and are awaiting the results of an autopsy to determine how the baby died.

Police are asking the public for any information that might help them identify the baby or his parents.

"This is a human being. For this to occur the way it did, and for us to find it in this situation, I think it's very sad," Chicago Ridge Police Chief Robert Pyznarski said.

Both Illinois and Wisconsin have "Safe Haven" laws allowing parents to leave unwanted, unharmed newborns at hospitals, fire stations, or police stations. In Illinois, the baby can be no older than 30 days old; in Wisconsin, the baby can be up to 3 days old.