Who was Baby Parker? Case still unsolved after 11 years
Every July, two Brantford women visit a stranger’s grave at Mount Hope Cemetery.
They never knew the newborn boy buried there. They don’t know who his parents were, where he was born, or even what his name is.
And neither, it seems, does anybody else.
The boy has been nicknamed Baby Parker, because his body was discovered in a park off of Parkside Drive.
He was found by Margaret Littlewood, who was walking her dog in the area on July 28, 2005.
She remembers thinking at first that she was seeing a newborn animal, then noticing “little toes” and thinking it must be a doll.
The truth struck her a moment later. She ran home and told her daughter, and they went back to the park to verify that Littlewood had seen what she thought she had seen.
“I was so upset,” Littlewood recalls. “I couldn’t believe it.”
Returning home, they immediately alerted police to their discovery.
The next day, police got a call about a “bloodied object” – later found to be placenta, linked to Baby Parker through DNA testing – he had found in his backyard.
Medical examiners found that the boy had suffered trauma to his ribs and skull, but couldn’t determine exactly what had happened to him. They found no traces of any drugs in his system.
Over the next few days, police officers canvassed hundreds of homes in the city and collected hundreds of DNA samples, all without success.
Littlewood’s 13-year-old granddaughter was asked if she knew anything, and told by police to report any “chatter” on MSN Messenger that could be helpful to the investigation.
Another big break in the case came a week after the discovery, when an anonymous note arrived at the police station.
The note was written by someone claiming to be Baby Parker’s mother, a “young girl” who hid her pregnancy and wasn’t sure who the baby’s father was.
“My friend helped me with the birth of the baby,” the note read.
“We were out partying in the … park when I started to have contractions.”
The author of the note claimed that she believed the baby was dead as soon as it was born, and would show up at the police station in person “by the end of next week.”
Eleven years later, police say they’ve never been able to identify the note’s author or heard from anyone claiming to have written it.
“Imagine the weight a secret like this would be on your shoulders – carrying this now for 11 years and not being able to talk about it with anybody,” says Const. Laura Collier.
“We need to be in touch with the mother, to find out what exactly happened.”
The letter also contained fingerprints – but, as with the DNA evidence, they weren’t a match for anyone in any databases accessible to the police.
Littlewood says that since the initial flurry of activity, she’s only ever heard about Baby Parker when his name comes up the media.
The recent births of her first two great-grandchildren have her again wondering how anyone could abandon a newborn—and hoping some closure can be provided for the boy she found.
“We don’t want to know who it is – just (for) somebody to say ‘We’ve sorted out Baby Parker,’” she says.
Police, too, say they hope they’ll be able to figure out what happened to the boy.
“He deserves to have his real family name on his gravesite,” Collier says.
“We are never going to give up on Baby Parker.”
With reporting by Nicole Lampa