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Investigators identify parents of newborn Jane Doe left in ditch in 1980 near St. Cloud

The case involved DNA collection in Minnesota and beyond, and an exhumation 38 years after the baby's discovery.

Investigators said Tuesday they have solved the decades-old mystery of who were the parents of a newborn girl whose remains were found in a ditch south of St. Cloud, but lack the evidence to charge anyone in connection with the death of the child.

Two women on their usual walk along a road on April 3, 1980, spotted the baby wearing only a disposable diaper and alerted the Stearns County Sheriff's Office. The discovery set off the long-running investigation that included multiple autopsies, an exhumation and numerous search warrants executed within and beyond Minnesota in order to collect DNA from anyone who might be related to the child, known throughout the years as Jane Doe.

Sheriff's Lt. Zach Sorenson told the Star Tribune his office has determined the identities of the parents. Sorenson said the mother has died, while the father is living in Minnesota and has spoken with a Sheriff's Office investigator.


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