JACKSON COUNTY, Ore. – Fifty-eight years after a baby boy was found in the Keene Creek Reservoir he’s been identified with GEDMatch DNA. Now be reunited with his family.
There aren’t many stories retired Jackson County Sheriff’s Sgt. Colin Fagan would do in 110-degree heat. But out of all his cases, this one is close to his heart.
“It stayed with me throughout my career. So even following [my] retirement I was very excited to hear that we were able to get him properly identified. Which was our goal from the beginning,” said Fagan.
Back in 1963, a fisherman found a knitted quilt sealed with wire, inside it was a 2-year old boy’s body. The technology wasn’t there to identify the ‘unknown boy’. But in 2009, Fagan, along with other Jackson County Sheriff’s detectives found the case. They wanted to give the boy his name back.
“We adopted him as our child, how would we want our children cared for,” said Fagan.
They got permission to extract samples for DNA testing. But there wasn’t a match. Until now.
GEDMatch DNA confirmed the unknown baby boy was 2-year old Stevie Crawford from New Mexico. But those close to the case weren’t the only ones touched by Crawford.
“Those of us involved in the case would periodically stop by and discovered that there were memories left by… We believe strangers who were touched by this case who considered them to be a child of the community,” said Fagan.
While NBC5 News and Fagan were at Crawford’s grave he received another visitor.
“When you have a baby and you don’t know their name, everybody just feels that instinct to surround them and protect them and take care of them. So for 58 years, that’s kind of what we did here,” said Cassidy Janisch, lifetime Medford resident who has been following the case. When she found out Crawford has been identified she wanted to pay her respects before he was reunited with his New Mexico family. “When I saw that he had finally been given a name I actually cheered. I was sitting on my couch and I actually cheered because it’s been 58 years since he was found.”
Crawford is returning to New Mexico where he’ll be laid to rest with his family.
Fagan told NBC5 News it’ll be difficult to prosecute the case. In the State of Oregon, medical examiner reports must be destroyed after 25 years. Something, Fagan said really harms this case.
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