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Efforts ongoing to solve cold-case deaths of newborn babies found in the Mississippi River

The newborn babies were found between 1999 and 2007.
Goodhue County babies

In order of left to right, the babies were found in 1999, 2003 and 2007, respectively. Images are composite sketches. 

A trio of unsolved baby deaths in southeast Minnesota between 1999 and 2007 remains a focal point for Goodhue County investigators, and they're now attempting to raise money to help cover costs associated with genealogy testing. 

In 1999, a newborn girl wrapped in a towel was found floating in the river by a fisherman near Red Wing. The girl is believed to have been in the water for up to two weeks. 

Four years later, in 2003, four teenagers found a newborn boy washed ashore on Lake Pepin, near Frontenac, Minnesota. Investigators believe the boy had been in the water for 1-5 days. 

A third newborn baby, another girl, was found in the marina at Treasure Island Resort & Casino in Welch in 2007. The sheriff's office suspects the girl had been in the river for up to six months. 

The first two infants were linked through DNA, proving they shared at least one parent. The third baby, described by the Goodhue County Sheriff's Office as Native American or Hispanic, isn't related to the other infants but the case details are "eerily the same." 

Determined to solve the cases, the sheriff's office is asking the public to help raise $10,000 that will go towards genealogy investigations that can compare DNA to a DNA database. 

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The investigation goes through Parabon Snapshot DNA, which just recently helped investigators in northeast Minnesota find the alleged killer of 38-year-old Nancy Dougherty, who was found dead in her home in 1976, having been sexually assaulted and strangled. 

Each genealogy investigation costs up to $5,000. Goodhue County has already covered the cost for the baby girl found in 1999, but they're hoping to continue working the case by analyzing DNA from the 2003 and 2007 infants, respectively. 

Donations are being accepted online at, and anyone with information about the cold cases is urged to contact the sheriff's office by calling 651-385-3155.

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