Image of 'Baby Doe' found dead near Boston moves millions

Story highlights

  • Prosecutor: "She was discarded by someone, and the indignity of it has really struck a chord"
  • More than 50 million people have seen or shared a computer-generated image of dead toddler
  • The body of a 4-year-old girl washed ashore near Boston on June 25

(CNN)Nearly three weeks after the remains of a young girl were found along the rocky shoreline of Boston Harbor, more than 53 million people have seen or shared a computer-generated image of what she may have looked like in life.

But authorities are no closer to identifying her or figuring out how she died.
She is known only as "Baby Doe" and thought to be about 4 years old -- with big brown eyes and brown hair reaching just below her shoulders, investigators said. She was about 3½ feet tall and weighed about 30 pounds.
    The National Center for Missing & Exploited Children released the image last week. Massachusetts State Police posted it on Facebook. In that time, more than 53 million people have seen or shared her countenance on social media, officials said.
    Police released photos of the blanket and the polka-dot leggings she was wearing.
    "She was discarded by someone, and the indignity of it has really struck a chord with all Bostonians and all New Englanders," Suffolk County District Attorney Dan Conley told CNN. "And we have tried very, very hard to identify who she is and how this could have come to pass."
    The state medical examiner, he said, hasn't been able to pinpoint a definitive cause of death.
    "The body had no obvious signs of violent trauma, so we're looking at a possibility of a poisoning. It could have been accidental, for example. I don't know the answer to that," Conley said. "But that's why we appeal to the caregivers, the parents. Please step forward. Clear your conscience. No child, no person, deserves to be discarded like this."
    Authorities are awaiting the results of toxicology tests to determine whether the girl was poisoned or ingested drugs before her death, Conley said.
    It's unclear how long she had been dead, but there was a modest amount of decomposition when her remains were removed from the trash bag she was found in, according to Conley.
    "Based on tips received, we have coordinated about 20 well-being checks with police in other jurisdictions after people contacted our investigators concerned about children who they believed may have been missing," said Renee Nadeau Algarin, deputy press secretary at the Suffolk County District Attorney's Office. "The children in all of those checks turned up fine."
    The child's body was discovered on June 25 along the shore of Deer Island, a narrow peninsula just east of Boston's Logan Airport. The island has a 2.6-mile recreational perimeter accessible to the public, the National Park Service said. It is also near the Port of Boston, one of the busiest on the Eastern Seaboard.
    It's unclear whether her body washed ashore or was discarded on the shoreline, said David Procoppio, a spokesman for the Massachusetts State Police.
    "We are extremely grateful for the many tips we have received, and we ask the public to keep sharing this little girl's photo and information so that we may continue to receive and follow up on leads," the Massachusetts State Police said on its Facebook page.
    The post has more than 53 million views and more than 714,000 shares, according to the state police.
    "How can nobody miss her?" Nina Marie Arnold-Orlando said in a post.