What to Know
- Cops were called to Bayside's Crocheron Park around 7:40 a.m. after getting a call about a dead baby; it turned out to be a prop or doll
- Emergency personnel initially declared the "child" dead; it's not clear how they mistook a doll for a human baby; police stayed on for hours
- A crime scene tent was seen pitched near a sidewalk fence, the area crawling with uniformed police and plainclothes detectives
Police say what appeared to be a dead infant found outside a park in Queens -- a "child" that was declared dead by emergency personnel -- turned out to be a realistic-looking doll made to look like a decomposing baby.
Emergency responders had declared the "3-month-old child" dead after being called to Bayside's Crocheron Park when a runner stumbled upon the apparent body and called 911 around 7:40 a.m. The "prop" was on a sidewalk outside of a home across the street from the park — and officers responded en masse.
A short time later, the scene was teeming with investigators. A crime scene tent was seen pitched near a sidewalk fence, the area crawling with uniformed police and plainclothes detectives as they canvassed the park for evidence. Caution tape cordoned off multiple intersections; NYPD community affairs officers in blue jackets were also spotted at the scene.
It's not clear how emergency personnel could have declared the doll "dead" without realizing it wasn't alive, nor was it clear why such a huge law enforcement presence remained at the scene hours later. It also wasn't clear where the doll or prop came from.
News 4 obtained a photo of the doll, which appeared dressed in a onesie and did look like a dead child who was decomposing.
Neighbors described at least 100 cops at the scene.
A woman whose friend's daughter lives down the block — and whose children attended the nearby public school — was so disturbed when she was told a dead baby had been found that she could barely speak.
Lori Scolaro says she usually walks at the park early in the morning and couldn't imagine having been the one to find the child.
"That's terrible," Scolaro said, choking up, her hand covering her mouth. "That's terrible. I'm sorry — I can't — it's a baby. I can't."
The investigation is ongoing.