Science: The Foster Mother Mystery

On the town garbage dump in St. Johnsbury, Vt. (pop. 10,500), the body of a week-old baby was found wrapped in brown paper. A hospital shirt led police to the baby's mother. She admitted disposing of the body, but denied killing the baby or seeing it die. She had taken her illegitimate child from the hospital soon after its birth, she said, left it with a married couple from Plymouth, N.H., who had a child of their own.

A few days later, according to the mother, the Plymouth couple called to say that her baby had died of suffocation. The frightened...

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