AURORA, Ohio — The woman who claimed to be the mother of the unidentified “Baby Doe” found at a Cleveland bus station last week is now being evaluated at a Portage County hospital, and her identity has been determined after authorities collected her DNA and fingerprints, according to the Aurora Police Department.
On Thursday, the Aurora police in Portage County received multiple calls reporting a woman walking in the roadway on State Route 43, according to a release from the department. Officers responded and learned the woman was the unidentified female who initially claimed to be the mother of an infant child who was recovered from an RTA stop at E. 105th Street and Superior Avenue in Cleveland on Saturday, July 17.
After interacting with her “for an extended period of time,” officers decided to seek medical attention for the woman, the release states. She was taken to University Hospitals Portage Medical Center for a medical evaluation.
Police continued to investigate the matter into the evening Thursday and the following day, then obtained a search warrant for the woman’s DNA and fingerprints. The woman was positively identified and the information was provided to Cleveland RTA police.
As of Friday afternoon, RTA police are still investigating, and “Baby Doe” remains safe in the custody of the Cuyahoga County Department of Family and Children Services.
Law enforcement first encountered the woman shortly after the baby was found with 67-year-old Bennie M. Anderson at the RTA bus stop. She was seen recording the incident from across the street and approached the scene with a stroller that had clothes on it. She told police she was the mother of the baby.
The woman then told police she was Anderson's husband and also said she was "the IRS." When asked what the baby's name was, the woman declined to answer and told police they would "need a federal warrant for that information."
After telling police that she was the baby's mother, police said the woman eventually gave them a name, but police said that when they ran that name into the Law Enforcement Automated Data System it brought up a person that did not match that woman's description.
Police said the woman could not tell them what month the baby was born or the baby's name.
It is unclear what kind of state the woman was in while being questioned by police, as the report indicates she said she claimed she was a medical physician, an IRS tax attorney, a civil engineer and other professions. She told officers she needed to breastfeed the baby because "the plastic bag in the bottle has maggots in it," and police noted the woman referred to the child as "the baby" rather than "my baby."
EMS told the woman that they needed to evaluate the baby further and were able to take the baby to University Hospitals for evaluation.
On Tuesday, police named the woman as a person of interest, seeking to identify her for further questioning.
On Wednesday, a citizen contacted the Solon Police Department, saying she believed she had seen a woman matching the description and pictures issued by RTA police of the woman from the bus stop on Saturday night.
The citizen told police she had seen the images of the woman in the news and thought she encountered the woman at the Solon Square Shopping Center. She told dispatch that she appeared to be wearing the same clothes as in the pictures provided by RTA police, and was still with the empty stroller.
"She actually looks like she's wearing the same clothes as she is in this picture. She is by herself with a baby stroller," the caller said. "I swear this is her because I'm looking at the same gray blanket that's thrown over her stroller."
The caller, who didn't want to be identified, spoke with News 5 after making the call to police.
"The story totally took to my heart because I am a mother of four young kids," she said.
Officers arrived on the scene and the woman, who was not breaking any laws, declined to identify herself to authorities.
RTA police officers, as well as members of the Cuyahoga County Department of Children and Family Services, responded to the scene as well, and after three hours of speaking with her, the woman continued to decline to identify herself and was released.
While they now know her identity, Aurora police have not released that information to the public, and neither Aurora police nor other law enforcement officials have confirmed that this woman is, in fact, the baby’s mother.