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1 year after baby found dead in cooler on side of road, police still hopeful for clues

The cooler was found at Boy Scout Road off New Franklin Road on Jan. 6, 2019.

TROUP COUNTY, Ga. — Monday marked one year since the body of a newborn was found in a cooler along the side of the road in Troup County. Despite the lack of solid leads, authorities are still hopeful someone will come forward. 

The cooler was found at Boy Scout Road off New Franklin Road on Jan. 6, 2019. Witnesses told police the cooler had been on the side of the road, near the wood-line, for several days - or even up to a week. 

"There is no excuse why they disposed of it like it was, or why they disposed of the child like they did," Sgt. Stewart Smith of the Troup County Sheriff's Office previously told 11Alive News. "But again, we just want to know the circumstances of what happened and what led up to the death of this child."

RELATED: Autopsy reveals new details on baby found in cooler on Georgia roadside

An autopsy showed that the child was full term, a white female and had no obvious signs of trauma or injury. 

Maj. Keith Flory with the Troup County Sheriff's office said they got a sample of the DNA from the crime lab and that they've outsourced it to a DNA lab and a private lab. 

He said the private lab doesn't just check the criminal justice system, but it cross references several ancestry DNA companies from around the world.

"Once we generate names or locations where these relatives may be we can go ahead and start our investigation," Flory said.

The 911 call obtained by 11Alive last year revealed just how surprising it was for the witness. 

"It's a dead baby," he said. "It's a dead baby...I'm about to have a heart attack."

RELATED: 'It's a baby in here' | Man makes horrific discovery in bag on side of road

A year later, authorities still don't know what happened. 

"This right here pulls at your heartstrings and we want to find what happened. We want a story behind this baby’s death and that’s very important to the community, to the family that may not know about what happened to this child," Flory said.

He said the department is not giving up.

"While this case has not produced any solid leads, our hope is that someone will still come forward with information about who disposed of the child, or that a DNA match will give us some clues in this case," the department posted on Facebook. 

They also used the opportunity as a reminder that the Troup County Sheriff's Office is a designated "Safe Place" and that "someone who can’t care for a newborn child that they can leave the child with a staff member with minimal questions asked."

If you have information you are asked to call Crime Stoppers at 706-813-1000. 

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