Realistic-looking doll thought to be dead baby spurs crime scene

QUEENS, New York -- A realistic-looking baby doll was found in tall grass in Queens Tuesday morning, spurring a police investigation.

A runner spotted what she thought was a baby around 7:15 a.m. in a grassy area outside a park.

Police initially reported that a 3-month-old baby was pronounced dead at the scene, and detectives descended on the park in droves as a crime scene tent was set up.

Once the medical examiner arrived on the scene, authorities determined that it was indeed a doll and not a baby.

Officials said the doll was wearing a diaper and had bruising suggestive of having once been a living infant. Still, while shocked residents were relieved to learn the truth, many wondered how the incident could go on for hours before the doll was discovered.

No one touched the baby or attempted to render any sort of aid, and EMS even "declared" it dead at 7:58 a.m. without a physical exam. It wasn't until 11 a.m. that the medical examiner made the ruling.

"I just woke up early in the morning, and then I found out that there was a dead body," one neighbor said. "And then the next thing you know, hours later, they're saying that it's pretty real. And the next thing you know, it's fake doll...It's nonsense. Like, bringing out all these cops and just finding out it's a fake doll. And it's just insane. It's insane."

It is not known who the doll belonged to or how it ended up there.

The FDNY released a statement, saying, "It appeared to be a baby with discoloration consistent with the signs of prolonged death, but thankfully, it was actually a lifelike prop. EMS will conduct a medical review of the incident."

It is unclear if they were somehow impeded by the fact that police crime scene investigators were present and considered it an active criminal investigation.
Copyright © 2019 WABC-TV. All Rights Reserved.