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Authorities need help identifying newborn baby who was abandoned and discovered dead nearly 20 years ago

Brighton Baby John Doe
Posted at 6:32 PM, Dec 08, 2021
and last updated 2022-01-28 16:12:46-05

UPDATE | Jan. 28, 2022 — As of Friday morning, the Weld County Sheriff's Office said it had reached its goal of raising $5K in the Brighton Baby John Doe case, meaning they can now begin the forensic genealogy process.


BRIGHTON, Colo. — The Weld County Sheriff's Office is asking for the public's help in identifying a newborn baby who was abandoned and discovered dead nearly 20 years ago.

In September 2002, employees were arriving at L&M Auto Repair in Brighton when a staff member spotted something under a bush. Baby John Doe was found dead, wrapped in a blue blanket with the words "Skate Bear" and a corresponding graphics.

Brighton Baby John Doe blanket

Pathologists determined Baby John Doe had been born healthy between 10 p.m. and 2 a.m. the prior evening. A cause of death was not established.

Authorities say no other clues were left at the scene. Investigators pursued all leads and tips at the time, but were unable to identify the baby. His case went cold.

The newborn weighed seven pounds and was roughly 21 inches long at the time of his death. He also had dark hair.

Brighton Baby John Doe

Baby John Doe's ancestry is estimated to be potentially white, Latino and/or Italian.

The sheriff's office has teamed up with Othram, Inc. to help identify Baby John Doe or a living relative. Othram will use a specialized type of DNA extraction and analysis to build a comprehensive genealogical profile for the newborn.

“It is essential to address what the National Institute of Justice calls the 'silent mass disaster' of the tens of thousands of unidentified persons in our country,” said Othram CEO David Mittelman. “However, many of these cases do not have sufficient funding support and it is an honor to be able to financially assist some of these investigations through our DNASolves platform.”

The genealogical profile costs $5,000. The Weld County Sheriff's Office has covered a portion of the costs. A account has been created to raise funds for the remaining costs.

This case is one of four unsolved Doe cases under investigation by the Weld County Sheriff's Office Investigations Unit. The Colorado Bureau of Investigation is supporting the sheriff's office with those cases.

Anyone with information about Baby John Doe is asked to call Cold Case Det. Byron Kastilahn at 970-356-4015 and reference case number WC02-4535.