Police Stop Burial of Infant
Bruising on the body was suspicious and necessitated a death investigation.
On Saturday, police in Menasha, Wis., visited the funeral of a premature baby who had died not long after an emergency C-section and took control of the body, which was reported to have bruising of a suspicious nature.
Officer Aaron Zemlock told the Appleton Post-Crescent that plainclothes officers attempted to be as tactful as possible in approaching the family but had received a request from the local coroner for a death investigation.
"As hard as it is," he said, "the body becomes evidence."
Zemlock alludes to the possibility of "in utero" issues with the baby, including its condition at birth, raising the prospect of abuse or neglect charges. An autopsy was conducted on Monday, though no arrests have been made.
"At this point, we don't even know that a crime was committed," he said.
It's not unheard of for police to use funerals as a means to confront suspects or arrest fugitives. Sometimes defendants who've remained on the run will surface for a close relative's services, which officers can follow in obituary listings.