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State turns to social media in case of 2007 dead baby

Three years to the day after Prairie Island marina workers found a newborn baby girl floating in the Mississippi River, authorities announced they are turning to social media outlets to generate new leads in the case.

The Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension said Friday it has established a Facebook page to get the public's help with cold cases, missing persons and Amber Alerts.

Abby - a name given by local residents to the missing baby found March 26, 2007, in Goodhue County - and dozens of other cases are highlighted on the BCA's site.

Goodhue County sheriff's officials said Friday they are pleased the case - which they are still investigating - will be spotlighted.

"I think any way to get the information out to the public is effective in helping solve this case," said Goodhue County sheriff's Capt. Pat Thompson.

Information about two other babies - likely siblings - found in the Mississippi River near Red Wing is also included on the BCA's page through a link to cold case playing cards the department released in 2008.

State-level law enforcement officials worked with local and county authorities to create the deck of cards. The decks highlight unsolved homicide, missing person and unidentified remains cases.

Each card featured a photograph of the victim, information about the case and how to submit a tip.

"We want to do everything we can to solve every case we investigate," said BCA Director of Administrative Services Janell Rasmussen. "Through Facebook, the BCA can communicate directly and immediately with the people of Minnesota."

Investigators believe Abby's body may have been in the water for as long as six months before being found. DNA evidence indicates there is as much as a 70 percent chance she is American Indian.

Authorities believe the other two babies - one a baby girl discovered in 1999 in the water near Bay Point Park, the other found in 2003 along the shoreline in Old Frontenac - are Caucasian and had the same mother.

"It appears that our society is getting more and more reliant on communicating with the Internet," Thompson said. "I think it's another way of getting the information out to the public. It's definitely not going to hurt."

The BCA's site also provides information to the public about internet safety, Crime Alerts as well as general crime prevention information.

If you have any information about the baby girl, call the BCA Tip Line at (877) 996-6222 or the Goodhue County Sheriff's Office at (651) 385-3155. To become a fan of the BCA on Facebook, follow this link