Stillborn found in linens; employee speaks out - KTTC Rochester, Austin, Mason City News, Weather and Sports

Stillborn found in linens; employee speaks out

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RED WING, Minn. (KTTC) -- A stillborn baby was found at a Red Wing laundromat after it was transported from a St. Paul hospital.  Now, police in Red Wing and St. Paul are investigating how a 22-week developed infant ended up in a load of linens at a laundromat 45 miles away.

Red Wing police received a call at 12:30 p.m. Tuesday from a citizen about the baby. But the baby had already been transported from the laundromat before police arrived on scene.

At Regions Hospital morgue in St. Paul, the infant wrapped in linens was mistaken for laundry needing to be sent to Crothall Laundry Services Inc. in Red Wing.

Like any news in the workplace, word spread quickly.

"Did you hear they found a dead baby in the linen?'  I said 'what?'  He goes, 'well that's what I heard,'" said an employee close to the situation.

According to the employee and confirmed by authorities, the baby was found in sheets being prepared for cleaning. 

"We sort it here, pre-sort and the guys open up the bags," the employee said.  "It goes down the conveyor belt, they pull out the different linen, the guy pulled out a blanket or whatever and a baby rolled out of it."

This employee questioned the way in which authorities were contacted. 

"You got the general manager here, the production manager and the office manager and nobody bothers to call the authorities when you find a dead baby at your facility?"

The infant's body was taken back to Regions Hospital by its personnel before police had arrived.  Authorities say the infant had an ankle band and further investigation revealed the baby was born on April 4.  Police in Red Wing and St. Paul agree that no foul play is suspected.

Regions Hospital says it hasn't reached the family to explain how the body wound up in hospital linens.  The hospital calls what happened a "terrible mistake" and is extending "deep apologies" to the family.  It's also offering counseling to employees of the linen service.

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