NEW YORK — A family visiting New York City from Oklahoma made a shocking discovery Sunday — the body of an infant floating in the East River in the shadow of the Brooklyn Bridge.
Investigators were trying to identify the boy, who was about 8 months old, find his parents and determine how he came to be in the water in Lower Manhattan, police said.
Monte Campbell, 46, of Stillwater, Oklahoma, said he retrieved the infant from the edge of the water after his wife, Diana, spotted the baby floating faceup near a pile of debris, wearing only a diaper.
“I thought it was a doll,” Monte Campbell said. “911, they put me on hold and at that point I decided I had to go make sure. So I handed the phone to herand got the baby.”
Police said a pedestrian flagged down two officers in a patrol car near South and Dover streets around 4 p.m. and told them there was a child in the water. The officers climbed over a safety railing and picked up the infant, then brought him to the pedestrian walkway.
Campbell and the officers tried to revive the baby using CPR until an ambulance arrived and rushed him to NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital/Lower Manhattan, where he was pronounced dead, police said.
“There was no pulse, no respiration,” Campbell, a chiropractor, said.
Police said the baby’s body showed no signs of trauma. The medical examiner will determine how he died.
The Campbells, their two sons and a niece had just returned from a ferry trip to the Statue of Liberty and were sitting on a bench talking about where to get dinner when they saw the baby.
Diana Campbell took video and photos of the scene, hoping the images would be helpful in identifying the infant.
“Someone knows that child,” she said.
By early evening, police tape still blocked off a portion of the walkway, and bystanders were gathered on a small pier overlooking the embankment. Three police boats idled in the water on either side of the bridge.
The Campbell family left around 6 p.m., with Monte Campbell calling the experience “very emotional.”