A Missouri man who discovered a baby inside a box kept in a freezer owned by his mother has revealed more details. Police said that they are now investigating and are working on carrying out an autopsy.
Adam Smith, 37, said that as far back as he can remember, the box was kept in his mother’s freezer. However, he said, she would never tell him what was inside.
After she died about a week ago, Smith said he began rummaging through her stuff at her St. Louis apartment. Then, as he was cleaning out her refrigerator and freezer, he finally peered inside the box, according to news reports this week.
— New York Post (@nypost) July 30, 2019
St. Louis police told CNN that they are treating the finding as a “suspicious death,” and they are working on carrying out an autopsy.
Smith said that the cardboard box was wrapped in garbage bags.
“I remember being curious as a small child. I remember trying to grab a stool and rip through the plastic,” Smith told the news outlet. “Other than that I never touched it.”
He said the box traveled to four different homes around St. Louis. His mother lived in the current apartment for more than 25 years, the network reported.
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“I still believed the box contained a wedding cake topper. That’s just what I assumed,” Smith said.
Smith told The Associated Press police questioned him for two hours and that he provided investigators with a DNA sample.
He said he remembers asking his mother when he was 7 or 8 years old why she seemed sad.
“All I can remember is that she told me, ‘My oldest child would have been 21 today,'” he recalled. “And that her name was ‘Jennifer.'”
A Missouri man says he’d known about the white cardboard box in his mother’s freezer his entire life. He assumed it held a wedding cake topper or another memento. But early Sunday morning, he called police and reported finding a dead infant in the box. https://t.co/ZNdZqXOjPx
— CNN (@CNN) July 30, 2019
He said she died on July 21 of lung cancer at age 68.
“Even as she was on her deathbed, she never told me what was in that box,” he told AP. “That’s what makes me think maybe she did something to this baby and didn’t want to tell anyone because she was afraid she would get in trouble.”
When he went inside the box, Smith said he cut through the plastic. After that, he saw a baby blanket and reached inside.
Smith then said he felt toes and a foot before spotting the infant.
“The baby looked clean. There was no blood on it, looked like a newborn baby,” Smith explained to CNN. “From what I could see the skin and everything was intact.”
“It was mummified. After that, I freaked out, put it in the box and called police right away,” he told KSDK.
Smith said he still doesn’t understand what could possess his mother to keep a baby in a box for several decades.
EXCLUSIVE: A disturbing discovery in south St. Louis. Police are investigating the death of a baby. But tonight, we get more details from a man who found the baby wrapped in a pink blanket in his mom’s freezer. Catch the full story at 6 on @ksdknews. pic.twitter.com/juSKoL9SQT
— Justina Coronel (@JustinaCoronel) July 29, 2019
“Who absolutely keeps their own child in a box with this long and never talks about it?” he added to CNN. “I just have so many thoughts. It’s insane.”
The man told the St. Louis Post-Dispatch that he is nervous to look through more of her stuff.
“I picked up a sock and felt something in it. But it was just cigarettes she was hiding from me,” he told the Post-Dispatch.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.