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Teen's father seeks to bury baby

The father of the Lackawanna teenager accused of killing her newborn baby said Tuesday that he is trying to get the rights to bury the infant.

"She was going to be put to final rest in a place of honor near Father Baker in a closed section of Holy Cross Cemetery," said Andrew Zebrun, the father of Alicia Zebrun, who remains in jail on second-degree murder charges.

But Robert N. Convissar, Alicia Zebrun's lawyer, said that the 19-year-old already has signed over the rights for her mother to handle the burial.

"My understanding of the law is that the natural mother is the guardian of the body of her child," Convissar said. "Ms. Zebrun is directing that the funeral arrangements be made through her natural mother and is so advising the medical examiner in writing."

He added: "My understanding is the medical examiner will honor that direction."

Andrew Zebrun said he and Donna Stack, Alicia Zebrun's mother, split up when their daughter was a baby and have been divorced for many years. His daughter had lived with her mother, but her father had visitation rights until she was 18.

Andrew Zebrun said he learned that the baby will be cremated, which he opposes.

"My wish is for my first grandchild, coming into this world in such a tragic way -- I wasn't able to see her into the world," Andrew Zebrun said. "I wanted to give her a final send-off in a decent, proper manner instead of being cremated."

Stack had no comment.

Andrew Zebrun hand-delivered a notarized cease-and-desist order Tuesday afternoon to Convissar. Zebrun said he may seek legal action to try to stop the cremation but cannot afford a lawyer. He also is asking local politicians to intervene.

Autopsy results have not been released on the baby, whose body was found Sept. 19 in a shoe box in a garbage tote near the Botanical Gardens. Buffalo police arrested Alicia Zebrun three days later.

e-mail: mbecker@buffnews.com

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