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Baby found at laundry had been stillborn

RED WING — The baby’s body that ended up in a linen bin at Red Wing’s Crothall Laundry came from the morgue of Regions Hospital in St. Paul, officials said Wednesday.

The stillborn, premature boy was delivered at the hospital April 4. The body had been wrapped in linen in the morgue. Someone mistakenly thought it was laundry that needed cleaning.

“We are really sorry and saddened that this event happened,” said Chris Boese, vice president of patient care of the hospital in St. Paul. She spoke at a press conference Wednesday morning.

Administrators notified the family that the mistake was made and to apologize.

Red Wing Police Department received a call from a citizen about 12:30 p.m. Tuesday that a dead baby was found in hospital linens at Crothall Laundry.

Chief Roger Pohlman said the body, as well as the laundry, had been retrieved by Regions before his officers received the call.

“That’s their practice,” he said of the Crothall Laundry. “They call the place it came from.”

Officers learned that the baby fell out of a sheet being prepared for cleaning. The baby had a tag on its ankle and was wearing a diaper, Pohlman said in a statement.

Witnesses said that the hospital was notified and sent personnel to pick up the baby. The hospital also took the linens.

The Red Wing Police Department conducted interviews but also notified St. Paul Police Department.

“This was a terrible mistake, and we are deeply sorry,” Boese said. “We have processes in place that should have prevented this but did not. We are working to identify the gap in our system, and to make sure this does not happen again.”

Anne Jacobson

Anne Jacobson has been editor of the Republican Eagle since December 2003. 

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