Authorities are continuing to search for a missing mother in Michigan after finding her newborn daughter dead inside her car.
Police in Lansing, Michigan say they discovered 35-year-old Ashley Shade’s vehicle parked near a river on Tuesday, one day after she and her 6-day-old daughter were reported missing, the Lansing State Journal reports. Police suspected that Shade had recently given birth and that she and the child would be in need of medical attention. While they recovered Shade’s vehicle, the child was dead inside and Shade was not at the scene, Robert Merritt, director of public information for the Lansing Police Department, told the outlet, adding that an autopsy will be needed to determine the child’s cause of death.
“It’s too early to say how she died,” Merritt told the Lansing State Journal. “Our focus right now is finding Ashley. But it’s a tragic situation.”
The missing woman had seven other children; five of them had to be taken into protective custody due to Shade’s mental health issues and problems with drugs, her family told WILX 10, an NBC affiliate station serving the Lansing area. They said she kept her latest pregnancy a secret from her loved ones.
“These are the words that I need to get out to her, that she needs to turn herself in and get her help,” her uncle told the outlet. “I talked to a Lansing detective this morning. They want to help her. They don’t want to harm her.”
Anyone with knowledge of Shade’s possible whereabouts is encouraged to contact the Lansing Police Department at (517) 483–4600.
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