Three Infant Corpses Discovered Within Dead Mother's Possessions

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http://www.startribune.com/stories/462/4026694.html

A Coon Rapids couple discovered the remains of a third infant Tuesday, a day after finding the bones of two others while sifting through storage trunks inherited from a deceased family member.

The bones of the three infants, believed to have been dead for at least 10 years, were discovered by Michael and Kathleen Manning, authorities said.

The storage trunks had belonged to Kathleen Manning's mother, who died four years ago, according to the Anoka County Sheriff's Office, which would not reveal the mother's name. The locked trunks had been kept at Manning Transfer, a Blaine storage facility run by Michael Manning, 57, and brought to the Manning home in Coon Rapids within the past week, according to the Sheriff's Office.

The Mannings notified Coon Rapids police Monday after opening the larger of three trunks and smelling a foul odor, said sheriff's Capt. Robert Aldrich.

Authorities found the small bones of what they originally thought was one infant's body.

But there was a second, smaller trunk within the storage case. It contained the remains of another infant's body, Aldrich said.

When another locked trunk -- about the size of an old metal typewriter case -- was broken into and opened Tuesday morning, the bones of a third child were discovered.

Authorities did not speculate Tuesday on the age of the infants or the manner of their deaths. Autopsies are scheduled for today, but it could take several months to determine by DNA testing whether the infants' bodies can be linked to relatives, authorities said.

"You know as much as we do," Michael Manning told the Star Tribune in a telephone interview. "We're in no position to answer any questions. We prefer some privacy till we know more."

When Manning, CEO of Manning Transfer, was asked why he and his wife decided, after several years, to open trunks that had been stored in semitrailers, he said, "We'll comment on a later date."

A man who answered the Manning's door refused to give his name, but said, "It's very sad right now. All we can do is speculate."

Police said that the Mannings have been cooperative and are not considered suspects in any wrongdoing. It is the family's belief that Kathleen Manning's mother collected things in boxes for years, authorities said.

The Mannings may have brought the trunks home because they were curious to "see what the mother collected," Aldrich said. "She had a goodly amount of possessions," he said.

The Mannings told authorities they had no clue as to where the trunks may have originated. "This was not the mother they knew," Aldrich said the couple told police.

"The family's reaction is complete surprise that there may have been [the remains of] small children [in the storage cases]," Aldrich said. "They're in shock.

"They're stupefied and stunned by this."
 
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Anonymous

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You may not be around very often these days, but when you do turn up, it's with a 'doozy!'

Good Grief! :eek:
 
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Anonymous

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I've heard a similiar story before but there was only one child and it was found in a bag in a wardrobe.......sometimes it's remarkably easy to hide a pregnancy and it makes one wonder just how many occurances there are of this kind of thing.
 

EnolaGaia

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Update for closure ... The infants' remains, along with the dead mother's (Cherie Herzog's) possible DNA samples, were forwarded to the coroner for analysis.
Remains provide few clues in case

After three months, Anoka County, Minn., authorities still have more questions than answers regarding the remains of three babies found by a Coon Rapids, Minn., couple. The bodies were found in trunks belonging to a former Iowa woman. Authorities have hired a forensic anthropologist — Hamline University Prof. Barbara O’Connell — and hope her expertise in identifying skeletal remains, combined with DNA testing, will help them solve the mystery surrounding the skeletons. The three tiny bodies — one mummified, the other two mostly bones — were found in August when Kathleen and Michael Manning were getting ready for a garage sale. They opened the trunks that Kathleen’s mother, Cherie Herzog, had left them when she died.

Herzog was born in Iowa, and her only known child, Kathleen, was born in 1947 in Mason City. Later, Herzog married and divorced a man in Mason City, shortly before moving to Minneapolis in 1961. Her former husband and Kathleen’s father are both dead, Fuerst said. Herzog had kept the skeletons in the trunks in her house in Minneapolis until she died in 1999 at age 70, said Anoka County Sheriff’s detective Bryon Fuerst.

The couple stored the trunks until August. When they opened them, they found remains wrapped in cloth and newspapers dating back to the 1960s. The couple then called police. Family members and others interviewed haven’t been able to answer who the infants were, whom they belonged to or how they died, Fuerst said. “We don’t have a lot of answers right now,” he said. Kathleen Manning has given police a bag of her mother’s hair curlers, Fuerst said. Investigators hope that Herzog’s DNA profile can be extracted from hair found in the curlers and compared with DNA from the skeletons to see whether they were Herzog’s children, he said. The DNA samples were sent to the state Bureau of Criminal Apprehension last month. Results will take months.

Fuerst said said the infants appear to have been full-term births, but no one whom police interviewed recalls seeing Herzog pregnant.

SALVAGED FROM:
https://crpubliclibrary.newspaperarchive.com/cedar-rapids-gazette/2003-12-01/page-11/
Cedar Rapids Gazette, Cedar Rapids IA, December 1, 2003.
 

EnolaGaia

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Finally ... The coroner ruled the infants' deaths as probably natural (citing no evidence of foul play), without revealing whether Ms. Herzog had been determined to have been their mother.
Coroner: No evidence of foul play in infants' deaths

There is no evidence of foul play in the deaths of three infants whose skeletal remains were found in locked trunks in 2003, the Anoka County Coroner's office ruled Thursday.

The remains were found by Kathleen Manning, of Coon Rapids, in trunks she had inherited from her mother, Cheri Herzog, who died in 1999. Herzog's personal effects went into storage for four years until Manning began going through them last August.

According to the Anoka County coroner, the infants included two boys and one girl. The infants were at full term or almost-full term when they died, and their deaths probably occurred in the 1960s, the statement said. The statement did not say whether the babies were Herzog's.

Investigators said last year that they hadn't found anyone who knew of Herzog being pregnant, partly because many of the people who knew her then have died. Manning had told investigators she didn't know of her mother being pregnant during that time. A message left at Michael and Kathleen Manning's house in Coon Rapids wasn't immediately returned. Anoka County Coroner Janis Amatuzio didn't immediately respond to written questions left with a secretary.

The statement released Thursday said there was a family history of hemolytic disease of the newborn, which can cause death. "Although the exact cause of death cannot be determined, with the history of hemolytic disease of the newborn and extensive investigation of all the circumstances, it is felt the manner of death is probably natural," the statement said.

SALVAGED FROM:
https://www.newspapers.com/newspage/224915827/
St. Cloud Times, St. Cloud MN, July 30, 2004.
 
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