A Missouri man was cleaning out his mom's freezer. He found a 'mummified' baby in a box

Kristin Lam

A Missouri man cleaning out his mother's freezer last weekend made a horrifying discovery: a frozen human baby.

Adam Smith found the baby inside a box his mother had stored in the freezer for as long as he can remember, KMOV-TV reported.

"It still had skin, hair and everything; it was mummified," he told KSDK-TV. "After that, I freaked out, put it in the box and called police right away."

His mother lived in a St. Louis apartment for more than 20 years and died last week of lung cancer, Smith told the St. Louis-Post Dispatch. He never thought to look in the box before Sunday, KSDK reported.

Smith, 37, said he was told the box contained a wedding cake top. Describing his mother as secretive, he told the local station he opened it out of curiosity, thinking money could be inside with a cake top.

Instead, he found a baby wrapped in pink fleece.

"I'm more confused, angry," he said. "I just want to find closure. I want to find more answers."

Police are investigating the case as a suspicious death, KMOV-TV reported, and an autopsy will be conducted to determine how the baby died.

Every time his mother moved apartments, Smith told the Post-Dispatch that she took the box with her. It took up a quarter of every freezer she owned, he said.

Smith recalled his mother saying a sibling died before he was born, the newspaper reported. As a 7- or 8-year-old child, he said he asked her why she seemed sad while driving.

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"All I can remember is that she told me, 'My oldest child would have been 21 today,'" he told the Post-Dispatch. "And that her name was 'Jennifer.'"

He gave police a sample of his DNA after questioning, the newspaper reported. As he continues to clear out the apartment, Smith said Monday he's nervous to sort through the rest of her belongings.

"I picked up a sock and felt something in it," he told the Post-Dispatch. "But it was just cigarettes she was hiding from me."

This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Man finds frozen baby in mom's freezer; Missouri police investigating