The NYPD is investigating the death of a baby who was found floating near the Brooklyn Bridge on Sunday.
The baby boy was spotted around 4:00 p.m. by a pedestrian who flagged down a police patrol car, according to an NYPD statement emailed to Oxygen.com. The officers attempted to perform CPR and summoned paramedics, who transported the boy to an area hospital, but the baby was pronounced dead.
“No parent or guardian were present at the time of discovery. No signs of trauma. M[edicial] E[xaminer] to determine cause of death. The investigation is on-going,” the NYPD statement says.
It was an Oklahoma family visiting New York who first spotted the baby, clad in a diaper and floating in shallow water near the Manhattan shoreline according to the New York Times.
“I thought it was a doll,” Chiropractor Monte Campbell told the newspaper. “911, they put me on hold and at that point I decided I had to go make sure. So I handed the phone to her and got the baby.”
Campbell said he waded out into the East River, retrieved the baby and started CPR, but “there was no pulse, no respiration.” Minutes late police arrived, moved the baby off the shoreline and onto the pedestrian walkway, where they attempted CPR, Campbell said.
The East River is a tidal estuary with strong currents that divides Manhattan from Brooklyn. It is heavily-trafficked by sightseeing boats, public transportation ferriers and commercial maritime traffic. The Manhattan banks of the estuary, along South Street near the Brooklyn Bridge, are also heavily trafficked, this time of year, mostly by tourists.
Campbell, his wife Dianna, their two sons and a niece had just come from a ferry ride to the Statue of Liberty and were sitting on a bench along the East River hashing out where to get dinner when they first spotted the baby.
Dianna Campbell took video and photos of the scene, in the hope that images would be helpful in identifying the infant.
“Someone knows that child,” she said.
[Photo: JB Nicholas]