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DNA technology solves 32 year old Meriden cold case


MERIDEN - The Meriden Police Department announced Tuesday they have solved a cold case that they’ve investigated for three decades.

It was advanced DNA technology that brought this case to its conclusion.

This case involves a newborn child, that was found frozen to death. In fact, the baby’s body was so cold, the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner had to wait a day before conducting a postmortem exam.

“We never really, after 32 years, thought that this would come to the conclusion that it has,” said Robert Kosienski, retired Meriden Police Chief.

For 32 years, every January, the Meriden Police Department has conducted a graveside remembrance for the abandoned newborn boy discovered frozen to death January 2, 1988.

“The Meriden Police Department adopted this infant and named him David Paul, which means God‘s beloved little man,” said current Police Chief Jeffry Cossette.
Thanks to advanced DNA testing, Meriden police have been able to identify the abandoned baby’s mother.

“The mother of David Paul was identified as Karen Kuzmak Roche,” said Cossette

That woman, who lives in Haddam with her husband, confessed to police that her life was a mess at the time and after she delivered the baby herself she brought him to a nearby business parking lot and left him at the base of a tree and called the local volunteer fire department to let them know they should look for something there.

“At this point in time, we believe that she will not be charged,” said Cossette. “We were looking at the manslaughter, which has a statute of limitations of 20 years.”

The New Haven States Attorneys office will make that determination.

“Miss Roche indicated she had been waiting 32 years for the day on which police would be knocking on her door regarding this incident,” Cossette noted.

“We will never forget David Paul,” said Kosienski. “He is still in our hearts. He is still the baby that we adopted and there’s a lot of love from the Meriden Police Department and this chief for that baby.”

Police say they wouldn’t identify the abandoned newborn’s father today because they had some more investigating to do.

Cossette said, they do not believe that he knew anything about this baby.
Connecticut now has a "Safe Haven" law, which didn't exist back then, that allows someone to bring an newborn to any hospital emergency room, no questions asked, with no prosecution.

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