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Human remains found at Lake Erie State Park described as fetus

DUNKIRK – State Police are seeking the public’s help in finding a woman who may have terminated her pregnancy, leaving the fetus to be discovered Thursday by a family walking along the shoreline of Lake Erie State Park.

State Police held a news conference on the case Friday afternoon.

“We believe someone will know something about this situation,” State Trooper Victor Morales said. Also addressing reporters was Brian Ratajczak of the Bureau of Criminal Investigation.

The remains of the 18- to 21-week-old fetus were brought to the Erie County Medical Examiner’s Office, which determined the cause of death as “intrauterine fetal demise,” authorities said.

State Police are working with Chautauqua County District Attorney David Foley on the case.

Ratajczak said that the case would not be considered a homicide because of the age of the fetus. He also noted the fetus had not been in the uterus for two-to-three weeks.

Foley said that the gestational age for a fetus to survive is about 24 weeks.

Police declined to say if the remains were left at Lake Erie State Park or had been washed up there.

Authorities said a family walking along the beach called police, who then summoned Chautauqua County Coroner Lawrence Wilcox.

“We would like to find the mother and know the circumstances around this situation,” Morales said.

Anyone with information is asked to call State Police at (716) 665-3114.