Workers find dead baby on recycling center conveyor belt, California cops say

Workers at a recycling center in San Jose, California, made a disturbing discovery early Friday morning, according to police.

A dead baby was found on a conveyor belt at the GreenWaste Recovery facility, prompting workers to call police around 3:30 a.m., the San Jose Police Department said in a news release.

Police said homicide detectives and crime scene investigators responded to the recycling center, as did the Santa Clara County Coroner’s Office, which “will conduct an autopsy to determine the manner and cause of death.”

The worker who stumbled upon the dead child was separating recyclables and garbage, according to NBC Bay Area.

“I can only imagine they’re going through a difficult time right now as well as all the first responders who responded to the scene,” Officer Gina Tepoorten of the San Jose Police Department said, according to NBC. “Very difficult when you have a young infant or a child. It’s hard for everybody who was a part of that.”

The Mercury News reports that the facility “processes residential and commercial waste, as well as recyclable materials. The privately-owned company was founded in 1991 and also serves Santa Cruz County and additional portions of Santa Clara County.” That area includes “San Jose, Los Altos Hills, Palo Alto and the southern part of Santa Clara County,” NBC reports.

The child’s name will be released after the baby is identified and the family is notified, the Mercury News reports.

Authorities asked anyone with tips “to contact Detective Ramon Sanchez or Detective Sergeant Isidro Bagon of the San Jose Police Department’s Homicide Unit at 408-277-5283. Persons wishing to remain anonymous may call Crime Stoppers at 408-947-7867.”

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Jared Gilmour is a McClatchy national reporter based in San Francisco. He covers everything from health and science to politics and crime. He studied journalism at Northwestern University and grew up in North Dakota.