MERIDEN, Conn. (WTNH) — A cold case has been haunting the Meriden Police Department for 32 years, but officers are hoping a new partnership and DNA testing may cause their trail to warm up.
The case involves newborn David Paul. Police said the baby was left to freeze to death in the AGC parking lot on Evansville Avenue.
He was found dead on Jan. 2, 1988. According to the Harford Courant, his umbilical cord was still dangling from his stomach.
Each year, the department holds a memorial service for David, who was named by local clergy.
But this year, the memorial has something that past services didn’t have: hope.
On Monday, the department announced it has been working with DNA Doe Project, a California-based company, to try and find David’s mother.
The company specializes in trying to identify unidentified victims from older cases in which it’s difficult to obtain DNA.
The announcement comes as a ray of hope to residents who remember the day David was found.
Tammy Hoffman lived next to the lot where David was found. She said she still remembers officers knocking on her door that tragic day.
“It was a knock at the door, and it was one of the police officers that was responding and making us aware of the fact that a baby had been abandoned in the lot next door to my house,” she recalled to News 8.
After hearing the news, Hoffman said she’s hoping it can bring an end to this cold case.
“I never did give up hope… DNA doesn’t lie,” Hoffman said. “Many times it can lead to a happy reunion amongst family members; people you didn’t even know you were related to. It can help you find out what your genetics are, and it can also find out who the bad guy was.”
And she knows that finding that bad guy is a top priority for the department.
“Many officers will have that one case that they just wish they could’ve solved, and I know for a lot of members of our Meriden police department this is that one case.”
According to the Courant, in 2001 police sent 13 pieces of evidence to the FBI’s crime lab in Quantico, Va., for DNA analysis. Among them were the blankets David was found wrapped in that fateful day.
Investigators believe his mother’s DNA could be on them and hope that new DNA technology can help identify and track her down.