|Birth: ||Sep. 24, 2007, USA|
|Death: ||Sep. 24, 2007, USA|
A newborn baby girl, found dead six weeks ago in a Lancaster city Dumpster, was given a name Tuesday.
On Friday, "Mary Anne" will have a proper burial.
A local parishioner, clergy and a funeral home director have made arrangements to provide services for and bury the little girl, who investigators say lived for only a few hours — perhaps only minutes.
Less than a week after she died, city police officers found her lifeless body in a canvas tote bag that had been placed inside a large trash bin behind Lancaster YMCA on North Market Street.
"Now we're taking care of this little girl," funeral director Charles "Chip" Snyder said Wednesday night. She "was an innocent child who never had a chance."
An autopsy determined little aside from the child's gender, and police are still investigating the circumstances of her death. Anyone with information about the case should contact Lancaster city police at 735-3300.
A community prayer and funeral service will be held for "Mary Anne" at 1 p.m. Friday at St. Anthony's Catholic Church, 501 E. Orange St. Burial will follow at St. Anthony's cemetery on Ranck Mill Road.
Anyone may attend.
The Rev. Daniel Mitzel of St. Anthony's will preside over the service.
Also expected are the Rev. Kevin Brown of Ray's Temple Church of God in Christ, the Rev. Steven Verkouw of Grace Lutheran and Lancaster city police Chaplain David Bushnell.
A chamber choir from McCaskey High School will offer song at the service.
"We immediately felt that baby, as any other member of the human family, deserved a burial with prayer and faith," Mitzel said.
Dolores Yecker, a parishioner at St. Anthony's, named the little girl after her body was released Monday night.
Her name was taken from Jesus' mother's name, Mary, and Mary's mother's name, Anne.
Snyder, who funded the child's casket and is offering his services for free, said the child's death struck a personal chord.
"As soon as (Dolores) said 'Can you help me?' I said 'Absolutely,' " Snyder said. "My wife and I lost a child to miscarriage, so it's a very sensitive issue close to my heart. Someone would have taken that baby."
After hearing the tragic news of the girl's abandonment, Snyder said he immediately thought of "Baby Allison" — a newborn found dead in December 2003 in a Strasburg Township burn barrel. Snyder also provided services for that child.
"How could somebody do this again? How could this happen in Lancaster for the second time in (four) years?" Snyder said. "I just can't understand the thought process … to abandon a child when there are other ways."
Mitzel stressed that patrons of Friday's service also should pray for the child's parents — who city police have been trying to locate since the girl was found.
"A number of people think simply of the mother, but somewhere there is a father involved," Mitzel said. "We don't know how close or distant the father was to these circumstances."
Snyder is encouraging people from all walks of life to attend the service.
"This is more of a community service," he said. "We want everybody in the community to attend because we don't know this baby's denomination or background — or anything."
More than 100 people filled Saint Anthony's Catholic Church on Friday afternoon to pay respect to a baby they never met.
Many said paying proper respects to Mary Anne was something they had to do. The baby was found in a dumpster behind the Lancaster YMCA back in September. Police have been searching for the baby's mother ever since.
Pastors from several local churches helped to organize this service.
There was also a police presence in the church in case the child's mother attended the funeral.
Mary Anne was laid to rest at Saint Anthony's Cemetery following her funeral
Thank you Jean for sponsoring "Baby Mary Anne's" Memorial Page
Saint Anthonys Roman Catholic Cemetery
Created by: Tony Thibodaux
Record added: Nov 12, 2007
Find A Grave Memorial# 22859827