Twenty-six years after a mysterious murder of an unnamed child, Fairfield police may be closed to finding the killers.
A baby bundled in bloody white blankets, just hours old, was found by the banks of Lake Mohegan in Fairfield March 14, 1986. The boy was strangled and abandoned, and left for passerby to find. Surrounding Baby Doe were signs of a sinister motive.
Fruit and coins littered the crime scene. Police believed those clues pointed to the Occult. Specifically, a little-known religion called Palo Mayombe, known to ritually use human remains. Researchers involved with the case say Palo Mayombe is a dark offshoot of the Santeria religion. Santeria is a mix of Afro-Caribbean and Catholic faiths.
“The weather was just like this. Cold, rainy,” said Fairfield Police Det. Kerry Dalling. .
The questions remain unanswered: Who killed Baby Doe? And how come no one has ever claimed him?
“It was a baby. It was an innocent child and what was done to him was horrific,” said Dalling.
The killers inflicted terrible wounds on the infant, including facial mutilation and breaking the baby's jaw. Police believe they wanted the child to be found.
"Were they trying to send a message? Yes,” said forensic expert Richard Walter. Walter is a founding member of the Vidocq Society, a group of cold case experts sought after by law enforcement around the country to help crack unsolved cases.
DNA evidence uncovered in the last two years has breathed new life into the case.
"The murder is not over when the body dies. The murder is over when the perp stops deriving satisfaction from the killing, Walter said. "As a consequence the people unwittingly continue to give evidence, and that's a huge advantage to the investigation if they know how to read them. That’s one of my skills,” he said.
New forensic evidence has narrowed the pool of suspects. Detectives have a DNA profile of the baby. With help from the Vidocq Society, old information has led to fresh leads. While they are careful of what they reveal, investigators are confident they have the killers in their sights.
"We're coming. And we have every intention of solving this case,” said Dalling.
They have a message for the murderers.
"Somebody is going to be knocking on your door,” warned Walter.
Police believe someone in the community knows something about the murder.
“Somebody's got to be the voice for that child,” she said.
Anyone with information about the case is asked to call Fairfield Police at 203-254-4840.