U.S. Water News Online
TULSA, Okla. -- Tulsa County sheriff's investigators are
trying to find out who left a fetus at Tulsa's wastewater treatment
An employee discovered the fetus in a sewage disposal unit, Sgt.
Scott Vickers said. The worker initially dug a grave near the plant
and buried the fetus, but later decided to tell a supervisor, who
called authorities, Vickers said.
``His conscience probably got the better of him,'' Vickers said of
The plant is city property but is located outside city limits. It
processes wastewater in several different units, but all the sewage
removed from the water ends up in one unit, which is where the fetus
was discovered, Vickers said.
The officer said he assumed that the sewage ponds are locked down and
that there are fences surrounding the entire facility.
Tulsa Public Works Department officials were not available for
Because of where the fetus was discovered at the plant and the way
the plant is set up, sheriff's officials think it was not flushed
from somewhere else.
It ``must have been brought here and dumped,'' Vickers said.
``There's no other way for it to get that far in the system.''
Upon initial examination, the medical examiner determined that it was
a fetus and not a full-term baby, but the exact stage of development
was not known. An autopsy is planned, Vickers said.
Determining whether the death is a homicide may depend on how
developed the fetus was, he said.
Vickers was not sure if the plant employee would be criminally
charged for moving the fetus and burying it. Prosecutors will
determine what, if any, charges are filed.
Investigators are searching for any possible locations where someone
other than an employee could have entered the plant, Vickers
``Our No. 1 focus is to find out how the fetus got here and who the
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