MERIDEN — Members of the police department and a local church gathered in the freezing weather to remember the baby boy abandoned in a parking lot in 1988.
Retired Police Chief Robert E. Kosienski attended the memorial service at Walnut Grove Cemetery with about 20 members of the Meriden police department and the Rev. Alden Barnes, pastor of First United Methodist Church. Kosienski said he remembered the morning he got the call about the baby found abandoned in a South Meriden parking lot on Jan. 2, 1988.
“He was found frozen to death,” Kosienski said. “Why would a woman do that?”
Kosienski said his first reaction when he got the call was shock. He later found out the mother carried the baby to full term, and he had blonde hair and blue eyes. Kosienski said the massive effort to find the mother was not to punish her, but because the police believe there was “some kind of trauma” that led her to abandon the child. The baby was named David Paul, which means “God’s beloved little man” in scripture, and was officially adopted by the city police department. The child was buried in Walnut Grove Cemetery.
Barnes said this year at the memorial service he read a prayer for children, keeping in mind the recent one-year anniversary of the Sandy Hook tragedy as well. “This death put a light on how vulnerable children are at all ages in this society,” Barnes said.
Barnes said a man attended the memorial service and said he was interested in the Safe Haven law that was passed in Connecticut in 2000. Mothers can voluntarily drop off infants under 30 days old at a hospital with no requirement to identify themselves. The infant will go into the custody of the Department of Children and Families.