New clue in the case of baby found in Mississippi River

Investigators have collected shipping records for the figurines.
Investigators have collected shipping records for the figurines.

The case of the baby whose body was found in the Mississippi River in early September has taken a turn and added a clue, but it's unclear if investigators are any closer to solving the mystery.

The girl was found inside a plastic bag, which also contained several other items, including several angel figurines. One of those littler statues has now been traced back to a Catholic shrine in Belleville, Illinois -- some 500 miles south of Winona, where the body was found.

The doll was sold by the National Shrine of Our Lady of the Snows, and was bought out of a catalogue which came out 11 years ago.

To be sure, investigators are looking for more solid information -- or, most directly, a well-informed tip -- in order to determine why "Angel," as the baby is now called, wound up in the Mississippi. But with little else to go on, the origin of this ornament adds another clue to a case with few leads.

The angel figurine was sold as part of a catalogue that commemorated the Great Jubilee of 2000, a Catholic observance declared by Pope John Paul II, the Belleville News-Democrat reports.

Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension spokeswoman Jill Oliveira told the News-Democrat that investigators are trying to trace the angels back to where they were originally purchased.

"We understand that they were sold in multiple quantities to businesses and were also sold in the gift shop [in Belleville]," Oliveira said.

In response to a warrant, the National Shrine of  Our Lady of the Snows turned over full details of the shipping information on the angel figures.

Autopsy results on the infant are not yet completed, so a cause of death has yet to be determined.. Anyone with information that could help solve the mystery of "Angel," and her as yet unidentified mother, is asked to contact the Winona County Sheriff's Office tip line at 507-457-6530.

Here's another, bigger look at the statue in question:

New clue in the case of baby found in Mississippi River


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