What to Know
- Two newborn boys, thought to be twins, were found dead on a Bronx patio on Nov. 9, 2020; their case is now being investigated as a double homicide, top NYPD officials said Thursday
- The cause of death was determined to be blunt force trauma to the skull; no arrests have been made, and a reward for information was increased to $10,000 as the NYPD seeks to solve the tragic crime
- The building super who discovered the dead babies called 911 and left his name with investigators, sources confirmed at the time; he is not considered a suspect and no suspects have been named
The NYPD launched a double homicide investigation Thursday in the mysterious deaths of two newborn boys whose bodies were found on a Bronx patio nearly five months ago, officials say.
Few leads have emerged in the disturbing case of the dead children, who were thought to have been born less than 24 hours after they were discovered by a resident of a multi-story building on College Avenue in Claremont on Nov. 9.
One of the babies was found inside a black bag; the other was left in the open. The two were found in separate parts of the building's patio, one on the side of the building and the other in the rear. The cause of death for the newborns, who were identical twins, was determined to be blunt force trauma to the skull, according to the medical examiner.
NYPD officials also announced they are raising the reward for information to $10,000. New Crime Stoppers posters were put up in the neighborhood as authorities ask the public for help solving the tragic crime.
Sources close to the investigation had said one of the babies had what appeared to be a blue string tied around his neck. At one point, investigators believed it could have been an umbilical cord, but investigators now do not believe that the was case. Neither of the children were found with clothing on.
The building superintendent who found the babies called 911 and left his name with investigators, law enforcement sources confirmed. Police said they have talked with everyone who lives in the building, and all have cooperated, but none of the residents have any information about the babies. Surveillance footage has also come up short, they said, with no working cameras pointed at that part of the alley, which is locked from the outside and inside — leading detectives to believes either someone dropped the babies from a fire escape, or tossed them over the fence.
Detectives still have no leads on who killed the twin, and said the investigation currently underway is a "scientific" one, focusing on fingerprints and DNA to be analyzed in a lab — something that can take time.
"There's not much that goes on in the city that someone doesn't know. And obviously the mother of these two infants was pregnant and th babies were full-term, so someone has to know something," said NYPD Lt. William O'Toole.
In an exclusive interview with News 4's sister station, Telemundo 47, Osvaldo Volquez said he saw one of the babies on the patio by his apartment building.
"He still had his umbilical cord, in a fetal position," he recounted to Telemundo 47 in Spanish.
The heartbreaking discovery has forever impacted Volquez, he added.
"How can you reach that point of cruelty?" he asked.
It still isn't clear who birthed the babies, who left them on the patio or how the children died. Police canvassed the area for surveillance video for potential leads, but months later say they still need more help from the public to find the killer.
A woman who lives in the building said at the time she didn't remember seeing anyone pregnant, and wondered how the children were left in such a location.
"I was surprised because there's no way to get back there. I don't know how somebody would get back there or to put babies, that's just crazy," said Tytiana Lomax.
Others in the neighborhood said there could have been options for whoever left the babies, even if the person or persons involved were overwhelmed by the births.
"You could take the baby to the police station, to church, anywhere. you don't have to leave the baby like that," said Roy Brown.
Anyone with information on the case is asked to call Crime Stoppers at 1-800-577-TIPS.