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Kenosha Co. investigators exhume body of Baby John Doe, found dead under bridge in 1989

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KENOSHA COUNTY -- Had he lived, he would be 26 years old. Instead, he was buried as a "Baby John Doe." Could investigators finally be close to discovering who killed the little boy?

Kenosha County authorities on Thursday, August 4th are exhuming the body of an unidentified infant in a quest to solve a cold case from November of 1989.

"This is something that our department has never done -- and it`s not something that`s done very often," Sgt. Eric Klinkhammer with the Kenosha County Sheriff's Department said.

Guided by maps of the cemetery, authorities spent more than three hours Thursday searching for and then locating the remains of Baby John Doe.

The newborn boy was found deceased by trappers beneath the Des Plaines River Bridge on County Highway N in the Town of Paris on November 9th, 1989.

Des Plaines River Bridge

Des Plaines River Bridge

Des Plaines River Bridge

Des Plaines River Bridge

Officials say a thorough investigation was conducted at that time. An autopsy determined the infant was born alive and the death was classified as a homicide. The infant was named Baby John Doe -- and was buried.

"This baby boy once alive at birth now lies cold and lifeless with no name or history. Deprived of life by someone who would not or could not care for this child,"  officials said at the time.

Baby John Doe

Baby John Doe

Baby John Doe

Baby John Doe

For more than two decades, no one came forward.

A few years ago, officials with the Kenosha County Sheriff's Department put all of its cold cases on its website.

Baby John Doe

Baby John Doe

Then, approximately one year ago, this cold case was reopened when new information became available. Detectives got a call from a person claiming to have information about Baby John Doe.

Kenosha Co. investigators exhume body of Baby John Doe, found dead under bridge in 1989

"We received information from that person that led us to the person of interest," Klinkhammer said.

Detectives have since developed a person of interest in the case.

Kenosha County Sheriff's Department

Kenosha County Sheriff's Department

"We're not releasing anything in relation to the suspect at this time," Klinkhammer said.

Authorities won't comment on how they think Baby John Doe died, but they do believe the person of interest still lives in the area.

The baby's discovery back in 1989 struck an emotional chord in the community. The burial was held at St. John's Cemetery in the Town of Randall.

In order to obtain DNA evidence, the detectives have obtained approval to exhume the infant’s body.

Kenosha Co. investigators exhume body of Baby John Doe, found dead under bridge in 1989

"What's important is we receive some information. Obviously somebody knows something about this. The hope is that they can classify the DNA and hopefully identify a suspect. The next step is to wait for the DNA sample to come back from the remains," Klinkhammer said.

We're told the remains will be sent to the University of North Texas for DNA extraction.

Investigators believe Baby John Doe was from southeastern Wisconsin. There's no timeline as to when DNA results could come back in this case.

Kenosha Co. investigators exhume body of Baby John Doe, found dead under bridge in 1989

If anyone has information about this case, they are urged to call 262-605-5140. Citizens can remain anonymous by calling the Crime Stoppers Tip Line at 800-807-8477 or 262-656-7333.

Monitor FOX6 News and FOX6Now.com for updates on this developing story.

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