Flowers, prayers and a crowd of weeping mourners were present at a graveside service Monday for a newborn baby girl found dead in the Provo River two weeks ago.
The only ones absent were her parents.A spray of miniature pink tulips, white carnations and baby's breath almost covered Baby Doe's tiny pink casket. Utah County, through its indigent services program, paid for the baby's burial at the Babyland plot in the Provo Cemetery.
About 50 people, many clutching babies of their own and bearing flower bouquets, attended the service for the unknown infant. One young man placed a palm-size teddy bear next to the coffin.
Gery and George Terry traveled from Spanish Fork with their son, Scott, to join those gathered to honor and express love for Baby Doe.
Scott Terry, 28, came out of a "sense of sympathy for such a precious unknown person.
"In some small way I wanted to express my love to someone that I didn't know but feel so much for," he said.
Rex Barrington, LDS bishop of the Lakeside 5th Ward, dedicated Baby Doe's grave, reminding those present of their responsibility to seek out the less fortunate and the needy.
The Rev. Garret Edmunds of St. Francis of Assisi Catholic Church in Provo prayed that the angels and saints would lead Baby Doe to a place of light and peace and soothe the tears of mourners. Edmunds offered a prayer also for Baby Doe's family, whose desperation led to her death.
Carrie Poulsen, Provo, holding her 7-month-old son, Christian, joined in offering prayers for Baby Doe.
"The image of a brand-new baby and what it would take to do what was done just moved me in such a sad way," Poulsen said. "I just can't even conceive the absolute depths of misfortune that would be in a person's life to make this happen."
Provo police scattered throughout the cemetery before, during and after the ceremony, hoping Baby Doe's mother would come to see her daughter laid to rest. An officer also videotaped all those who attended the service.
A fisherman found the naked, tiny infant snagged on twigs in the river at approximately 5000 North on Feb. 22. The state medical examiner's office has determined the 6-pound baby did take a few breaths after her birth. The autopsy, however, did not reveal any cause for the baby's death, Leatham said.