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Oak Ridge investigators turn to advanced DNA testing to solve 'Baby Wyatt Doe' case

The city of Oak Ridge approved a measure Monday night to accept a $5,246 grant to pay for genetic testing to identify a newborn found dead at Melton Lake in 2020.

OAK RIDGE, Tenn. — The city of Oak Ridge approved a measure on Monday to accept a more than $5,000 grant in hopes of identifying a newborn baby boy found dead in Melton Lake nearly two years ago.  

On March 26, 2020, police said they responded after a passerby found a newborn baby dead and discarded with his umbilical cord still attached near the water along the Melton Lake Greenway in Oak Ridge at Edgemoor Road.

The baby had no identify, so investigators gave him the name "Baby Wyatt Doe." For nearly two years they have tried to identify him to solve the cold case and are now turning to advanced DNA analysis with the help of a non-profit organization from Indianapolis.

The organization, Season of Justice, has provided a $5,246 grant to the Oak Ridge Police Department to pay for genetic testing. The money will be sent directly to the genetic testing laboratory specifically to identify Baby Wyatt Doe. 

The city said the department will not share any confidential or case-sensitive information with the lab or non-profit, and any unused grant funds will be returned to Season of Justice.

The discovery of the newborn's body in 2020 shook the community and officers, who later created a memorial for Wyatt. Oak Ridge said the newborn cannot be given a proper burial until his identity is determined.