Vermont State Police closes 1982 Baby Doe case with no charges filed

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NORTHFIELD — Vermont State Police have officially resolved the 1982 Baby Doe death investigation and announced Wednesday that no criminal charges will be filed.

The case began on April 1, 1982, when children waiting for a school bus on Mill Hill Road discovered the body of a deceased infant.

The Northfield Police Department, aided by the Vermont State Police, initiated an investigation, giving the unidentified infant the name Baby Doe.

An autopsy performed by then Vermont Chief Medical Examiner Dr. Paul Morrow could not determine the cause or manner of death, which were classified as undetermined.

In 2022, current Chief Medical Examiner Dr. Elizabeth Bundock reaffirmed this assessment after reviewing the case.

Despite the undetermined cause of death, the case was treated as a potential homicide.

However, initial investigative efforts, including evidence collection and interviews, did not yield any information about Baby Doe’s identity or that of his parents.

Advancements in DNA technology led to a partnership with Parabon NanoLabs in 2020 to conduct genetic genealogy analysis, funded through donations.

In 2021, a DNA profile from the evidence led to the identification of Matthew Isaac’s biological parents, who had ties to Northfield in 1982.

The parents were located in Maine, and after obtaining DNA samples, it was confirmed they were related to Baby Doe.

The biological mother admitted to the unlawful disposal of the infant, explaining she had given birth unexpectedly and alone, and that the baby had not survived.

Washington County State’s Attorney Michelle Donnelly reviewed the case and deemed that no murder charges were warranted due to the undetermined cause and manner of death.

The unauthorized disposal of a dead body was beyond the statute of limitations, precluding further charges.

With the investigation now classified as resolved, the Vermont State Police will not release the names of the biological parents.

The department expressed thanks to all who contributed to the resolution of this decades-long case, including the public, various law enforcement agencies, and nonprofit organizations.

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