Fetus found in park laid to rest

Fetus found in park laid to rest

EL PASO, Texas - The body of a fetus found in a park on Valentine's Day was laid to rest Thursday.

The remains were found at Travis White Park on Sumac Dr. in East El Paso.     

The El Paso Catholic Diocese said it wanted to give this fetus -- named "Baby Socorro" by the bishop -- love and respect not found in its short life.

Bishop Mark Seitz presided over the ceremony at Mt. Carmel Cemetery. Dozens who didn't know this baby in life were standing by her in death.

As the group sang psalms, the members of the Knights of Columbus stood silently outside the canopy providing shade to the tiny white box sitting atop a green platform. The miniature coffin was adorned with roses and a small teddy bear.

The Knights of Columbus, a fraternal society part of the Catholic Church, was instrumental in this burial.

"I could not let this go. It was in my heart," said Joseph Grillo, District Deputy of the Texas State Council of the Knights of Columbus.

Grillo told ABC-7 the story stayed with him when he first heard about it on the news. Days later, he contacted Bishop Seitz, along with the El Paso Police Department, the El Paso County Medical Examiner's Office and Hillcrest Funeral Home -- all to make the burial of Baby Socorro a reality.

Baby Socorro's small body discovered by a family out for a walk at the park nearly three weeks ago. The remains were found in the sand by the playground.

"I just couldn't see her, just laying there and nobody there for her," said Grillo.

Seitz told ABC-7, while it's not known if the mother or father are Catholic, he knows this tiny baby now lying in a white box the size of a shoebox is a child of God.

"She shares the same human dignity as you or me," said Seitz. "She just happened to be at the very beginning of her life and didn't have the opportunity to grow and develop it."

Grillo had a message for the mother and father of Baby Socorro.

"If the parents are out there -- they now know she's buried at Mt. Carmel Cemetery. They can come by and see her. And that we took care of her."

ABC-7 obtained the autopsy report for the fetus. The medical examiner listed the age as approximately 17 weeks and deemed it nonviable -- unable to survive outside the womb on its own. The ME also couldn't determine the gender or cause and manner of death.

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