Sixteen tips in six months.
“That’s not very much,” said Capt. Steven Strivelli, of the Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Office. “And none of those tips have led to anything.”
In the half-dozen months since a newborn baby girl was found floating off the Boynton Beach Inlet, little has been learned about who she is, where she came from or how she got there and authorities are “desperate” for leads.
What investigators do know now that they didn’t before is that Baby June did not die a natural death. She was killed.
“The medical examiner’s rulings are in and this case is a homicide,” Strivelli told reporters Monday during a news conference. He would not elaborate on cause or manner of death. Strivelli just wants help locating the baby’s parents or relatives.
“We are still desperate for anything that we can get from the public,” he said. “We need to know who the parents are. Maybe there’s an explanation. Albeit, a strange one, but maybe there’s an explanation. We’d like to start there.”
Discovered June 1 by an off-duty firefighter out boating, the infant was named June. Investigators quickly figured out that she was seven days old, at most, and had been in the water for less than a day when she was found.
The newest detail discovered since then through genetic testing is a clue to Baby June’s ancestry.
“This child is listed as basically 50% Central Asian and 50% African,” Strivelli said. According to researchers, that points toward places such as Barbados, Trinidad or Jamaica.
“We’re not hitting any major leads here,” Strivelli said.
Days after the discovery, investigators concluded the infant had likely drifted from Broward County to the waters of Palm Beach County.
Evidence suggested Baby June was born in a hospital, or birthing center or medical facility. Her umbilical cord had been cut and she had a heel prick, indicating standard tests performed on newborns.
The investigation has included a search of birth records of an approximate 700 babies who were born in Palm Beach and Broward counties in the date range Baby June was likely born in. That turned up nothing. Detectives have not yet turned their sights to Miami-Dade County hospitals, Strivelli said.
“Some hospital somewhere has evidence of this child being born,” he said. “We just haven’t found it yet.”
There will be no burial for Baby June. Her remains will be kept at the Palm Beach County Medical Examiner’s Office.
There is an offer of a $10,000 reward for information that leads to an arrest.