Missouri hospital loses stillborn baby's remains

Gabrielle Masson - Print  | 

Springfield, Mo.-based Cox Medical Center South informed a couple that, after a stillbirth, their baby's remains are missing, providing no explanation as to how or where the infant's body is, according to the Springfield News-Leader.

 A week after Brianna Dudley's stillbirth in November, she and her husband returned to Cox South to review autopsy and genetic analysis results regarding their son's death, the couple told the Springfield News-Leader Dec. 3. Instead, hospital representatives told the Dudleys that the baby's body was gone.

Cox South showed the couple video footage of a man in a hoodie taking what the hospital believed to be the infant's remains from the hospital morgue. Ms. Dudley said she saw a bulge in the man's hoodie when he left the morgue.

Cox representatives said the man was "contracted through the hospital to transfer body parts to different areas, different counties," Ms. Dudley told the Springfield News-Leader. The hospital had referred the issue to the Springfield police.

"As soon as law enforcement's investigation permitted, CoxHealth's leadership team met with the family to share information related to this incident," Kaitlyn McConnell, a Cox spokesperson, said in a statement to the Springfield News-Leader. "Because this is an ongoing investigation and a law enforcement matter, we are unable to provide additional information at this point.”

Grant Rahmeyer, the couple's attorney, said the police told him the man in question denied the allegations and cooperated with the investigation, and that no remains were found, according to the Springfield News-Leader.

Cox's risk manager suggested the missing remains may have been due to a "processing issue," but didn't elaborate on what that meant, Mr. Rahmeyer added.

Mr. Rahmeyer said he and his clients are still waiting for answers at this point, but said a lawsuit would be the only remedy if no answers were given.

Cox hospital did not respond to the Springfield News-Leader's request for comment on the discrepancy of explanations.

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