OILDALE, CA - No one has come forward to claim the baby that was found dead in an Oildale trash bin three weeks ago. Even so, some neighbors are fighting to get 'Baby Beardsley' a burial.
Right now, the Kern County Coroner's Office is holding the baby and waiting for family to come forward. If no one does, the baby could be buried by the end of the month.
"I really hope that they find the people who did it," said Melissa Groves, daughter of the man who found the deceased baby.
Dozens of stuffed animals still sit on Beardsley Avenue in Oildale as memorial tokens of the baby girl found dead in a trash bin last month.
"I witnessed it," said Groves, as she remembered when her father showed her the baby he found in the trash. "I saw it and it was a hard thing to see, the tragedy that happened."
Right now, the cause of the baby's death is a mystery. The tiny body remains at the coroner's office.
"It's a baby," said Groves. "I'm pregnant myself with three kids and a life is a life no matter what you know."
It's a life that some in the county are hoping to lay to rest.
"We're ready to accept the baby," said Dave Hepburn, General Manager of the Historic Union Cemetery.
That's because Union Cemetery is home to a newly formed Garden of Innocence. It's a special burial place for unidentified infants. Union Cemetery is home to the only one of its kind in Kern County, but one of about two dozen in California.
"Even though our grounds are not laid out, we have the architectural drawings of all the grave spaces," said Hepburn.
If the coroner gives permission, 'Baby Beardsley' would be buried in one of them, the first burial in the garden.
"We are in the business of taking care of the dead," said Hepburn. "This just fits into that exact situation."
The Kern County Coroner's Office said it must give the family 30 days from the time of death to come forward. If no one does, 'Baby Beardsley' will be released July 21st and possibly laid to rest in Union Cemetery.
"On these very special cases that are very sad and very ugly," said Hepburn. "Sometimes, you know, it's very important to have a burial ground to be a common place of feeling good to correct this terrible thing for this young child."
If 'Baby Beardsley' is buried in the Garden of Innocence, she will get a name. The group plans to ask the man who found the baby, Reggie Groves, to name the little girl.