First Look

'Baby Doe' identified? Investigators one step closer to solving mysterious death

Massachusetts investigators have spent months trying to identify Baby Doe. Unconfirmed reports suggest that the little girl that has captured the nation's attention may soon have a name.

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    A computer-generated composite image depicting the possible likeness of a young girl, whose body was found on the shore of Deer Island in Boston Harbor on June 25, was included on a flyer released July 2, by the Suffolk County Massachusetts District Attorney.
    Suffolk County District Attorney via AP
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Investigators are one step closer to identifying “Baby Doe.”

A law enforcement official has told the AP authorities have identified “Baby Doe,” an until now unidentified baby girl who was found dead on a Boston Harbor island beach.

The official spoke anonymously on Friday because he was not authorized to release details of the ongoing investigation. He said police searched a home in Boston on Thursday and have been communicating with family members.

The AP reports that the Suffolk district attorney’s office said the investigation remains ongoing and the state police did not return calls.

Baby Doe was estimated to be around 4 years old. Her body was found in a trash bag on Deer Island in Winthrop on June 25. Authorities say she was wearing white leggings with black polka dots.

Soon after the discovery, the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children produced a computer-generated composite image of what the girl would have look like alive. The image and the story launched a social media blitz to identify the girl.

The photo was posted to the Massachusetts State Police Facebook page. By July 2 it had received 60,000 likes, 670,000 shares, and nearly 50 million views.

“It goes to show the power and reach of social media,” state police spokesman Dustin Fitch told NBC News.

John Walsh, the co-founder of the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, told ABC News, “It is a fantastic way to use social networking for good.”

Authorities had been following up leads provided by the public to little effect, until now. Residents of a Maxwell Street apartment building said to the Boston Globe that police were asking around about a neighbor on Thursday. The woman had a daughter about 3 or 4 years old that has not been seen in a while. 

The girl looked just like the photo created by the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children, residents told the Globe.

The investigation is still ongoing and no arrests have been made.

The new developments follow months of investigative work. The search has spanned at least 36 states and several countries, the Globe reported.

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