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NYPD spends hours investigating a 'dead baby' in a park — then finds out it was all fake


Resources diverted

Sergi Reboredo/VW PICS/Universal Images Group via Getty Images

New York City police officers spent hours investigating what they thought was the death of an infant in Queens, only to find out that the body they had recovered was actually just a lifelike doll.

Wait, what happened?

At 8:15 a.m. Tuesday, someone called the New York Police Department to report an unconscious and unresponsive infant found near Crocheron Park in the Bayside neighborhood of Queens. Officers rushed to the scene, and EMS declared the baby dead. Police covered the body of the baby with a tarp and launched an investigation. This park is across the street from a school.

But a few hours later, the NYPD confirmed that there had never been a baby and that the officers had been initially fooled by a realistic-looking doll that was made to seem like it was bruised and slightly decomposed. The truth was eventually discovered when the NYPD's Crime Scene unit took control of the scene and turned the doll over. Although the baby did look convincing, it is unclear why it took the NYPD so long to determine that it was not real.

Police are not sure whether the 911 caller was a well-meaning bystander who was also fooled by the doll, or someone who was deliberately trying to prank the NYPD. It's also not clear who put the baby there or what their intention was. The NYPD is continuing to investigate.

If this was a prank, it succeeded in diverting a lot of NYPD resources. WNBC-TV reported that neighbors estimated that there may have been more than 100 police officers at the scene at one point during the investigation.

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