Last updated: August 06. 2014 11:44PM - 2152 Views
By - elewis@timesleader.com

The grave site of an infant boy whose body was discovered in the West Side Landfill in 1980 is seen on Wednesday.
The grave site of an infant boy whose body was discovered in the West Side Landfill in 1980 is seen on Wednesday.
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Happy Birthday baby boy, whoever you are.

The infant boy was found mixed with household trash in the now-closed West Side Landfill in Larksville 34 years ago on Wednesday.

No name is etched onto the tiny flat stone marking the infant’s grave site in St. Anthony’s of Padua Cemetery in Courtdale. His identity and day of birth remains a mystery. So does the person responsible for throwing the infant away.

The stone simply says, “Baby Boy Aug. 1980.”

An autopsy by the late Luzerne County Coroner Dr. George Hudock showed the baby was alive for 24 to 72 hours after birth and died due to “acts of omission,” meaning the baby didn’t receive the necessary care to sustain life, according to the Luzerne County Coroner’s Office.

State police at Wyoming have been investigating how the infant died since Aug. 6, 1980, when a bulldozer operator at the landfill discovered the baby.

Records at the landfill authority showed they received 94 truckloads of garbage that day, up from their average of 64 per day.

After five to seven loads, dirt was spread over piles of garbage.

The last load to dump prior to the infant being found came from Kingston, which had a garbage packer and three dump trucks at the site. Garbage also came from Larksville, Courtdale and a private hauler that serviced Wilkes-Barre and Wyoming.

Former county coroner Andrew Strish, who provided funeral services for the infant, said investigators searched through garbage for papers or evidence that would have narrowed a location.

Strish held onto the baby for two weeks before the infant was buried, hoping someone would come forward.

In prior years, a Christmas stocking, plastic flowers, a statue of the Blessed Mother and two vials used for fresh flowers had been found next to the infant’s gravestone.

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