A Year Later, Investigators Still Search For Answers in Death of ‘Baby Hope'

Police say they just need one person--even someone who might just know the baby's parents--to come forward. They hope someone might remember a young Latina woman pregnant last summer, so they can finally let Baby Hope rest in peace.

One year ago Tuesday, a worker made the gruesome discovery on a quite, tree-lined street in unincorporated Wheaton. A lifeless infant in this backpack who would later be known as Baby Hope.

A maple tree grows for her at a nearby playground where moms and their kids still think about her untimely death.

From the start, the DuPage County Sheriff's office put everything into finding the baby's parents.

Det. Jeff Christiansen, of the DuPage County Sheriff's Office, said the department conducted at least 100 interviews and 100 follow-ups while canvassing the area with fliers about Baby Hope "so she can rest in peace."

Authorities also have learned a little more about the baby's last moments.

"The forensic pathologist was able to determine that baby hope had taken at least a breath and for some unknown reason passed away," Christiansen said.

Tireless detectives used new technology with DNA recovered from the scene, to create these images of what the Latino parents might look like.

They've also created Hope's Garden in West Chicago to carry on her memory.

The Sheriff’s Office has already donated its first picking of produce grown in the garden to local food pantries.

Sheriff's investigators remind young moms that you can leave a newborn at a safe haven legally within the first 30 days.

The Illinois State Crime Commission has told the Sheriff’s Office that they are offering a $5,000 reward for information leading to the identification and location of the mother or father of Baby Hope.

Call the sheriff's office at 630-407-2400 with tips and information or reach them on Facebook. You can also text a tip to 274637 with the message "SHERIFF" followed by your tip. 

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