HORRY COUNTY, SC (WMBF) - It is a story that gripped our community, causing sadness and anger to those who never even knew him. Baby Boy Horry's life ended before it even began. His body was discovered in December of 2008, and nearly a decade later, the circumstances behind his death have never been determined.
It was the worst discovery imaginable, but it was all too real; a newly-born baby boy was found in a bag off of Highway 544 and Meadowbrook Drive.
"They say they found a dead baby in a box," a caller can be heard saying in the 911 call placed in 2008. "They need somebody on site."
Roy Scott was one of the utility workers who came across the newborn who would later be known as "Baby Boy Horry."
"I thought it was a baby doll, you know, it looked fake," Scott said. "That's a life-changing experience to find a human baby basically just cast away."
Baby Boy Horry was never given the chance at life. Investigators believe it was snuffed out less than two days after it began. The discovery brought the community together as they shared in their heartbreak and their anger knowing this is not the way things are supposed to be.
Area residents and community leaders never knew Little Baby Boy Horry, but they were determined nonetheless to give this newborn, who had such horrendous beginnings, a suitable burial.
"I read this email from a woman who said he was an angel and this was already our thought," said Horry County Coroner Robert Edge. "That this child should have a proper Christian burial. The child never had a chance at life and I think it's our responsibility and our duty to provide everything that we can provide for him in his afterlife that we can possibly do."
A proper funeral and memorial ceremonies were held in the years to follow, but there were still no answers. With just the remains and that canvas bag to go on, leads quickly dried up as this case grew cold.
More than eight years later, this case has made little progress, but here's what investigators do know: "The infant was approximately 5.7 pounds, it was full gestation so it had actually been birthed," said Captain John Harrelson with the Horry County Police department. "There was no injury to the child - no cuts, bruises, and the time it had been out there it was possible it had died of hypothermia."
Authorities are hoping our viewers will do a little detective work on their own, but you'll have to think back.
"Anybody who knows a family member or someone that was showing signs of pregnancy back through, I'd say, early 2008 - February, March, April all the way through to December and then at some point didn't have a baby or you just never heard about a child again - you know, sometimes teenagers may have a child but hide it from their family, but there's usually obvious signs," Cpt. Harrelson said. "Maybe friends know someone that back then was willing to cover for, but there's a child that needs to be buried with a name."
That name, at this point, is simply Baby Boy Horry. A newborn who, through no fault of his own, never had the chance to live his life. A baby boy whose light was extinguished just days after his flame was lit.
"Most likely what happened here was a mother or father didn't know what to do, didn't know how they would handle this child, and the only thing they could come up with was hiding it," Cpt. Harrelson said.
There is a law that protects parents of newborn children from prosecution for abandoning them. The Safe Haven Law, or "Daniel's Law" states that a person person who abandons a newborn cannot be prosecuted for abandonment if he or she takes the unharmed baby to staff or an employee of a safe haven. Last year, then-Governor Nikki Haley signed into law an update to Daniel's Law to include infants up to 60 days old. Previous law only applied to infants up to 30 days old.
If you have any information that could help authorities solve the Baby Boy Horry, case you're urged to contact authorities at 843-915-TIPS.