A man digging in a trash bin behind a Florida gym found a baby just hours old, prompting an investigation into how the boy died, according to the Lakeland Police Department.
The discovery was made early Thursday, May 11, in an alley behind Just Move gym in the 3600 block of South Florida Avenue, Lakeland Police Chief Sam Taylor said at a news conference.
It’s suspected the boy was in the bin less than 10 hours, he said.
“A gentlemen who was going through the dumpster had located a bag and inside the bag was a fetus that was deceased: A male baby, still had the placenta attached and the umbilical cord,” Taylor said.
“It wasn’t a nonviable fetus. I would actually refer to it as a baby.”
The man called 911 and police responded, along with the Lakeland Fire Department, he said. The child was declared dead at the scene and turned over to the medical examiner for a postmortem examination, officials said.
Detectives are seeking information on “who put the child in the dumpster,” Taylor said.
The alley behind the business is a dead end, and is bordered by a storm drainage pond and trees, maps show.
Charges will be filed against the person responsible, and they will depend on whether the coroner finds the child was stillborn or had been killed, Taylor said.
Lakeland is about 35 miles northeast of downtown Tampa.