Search Called Off: Newborn’s Final Resting Place at Garbage Dump
Authorities have suspended the search for the body of a newborn who prosecutors say was killed and left in an Asbury Park dumpster by his parents.
The decision likely means that the final resting place of Legend — a boy who lived in the world just briefly — will be at a Monmouth County garbage dump.
The decision was announced several hours after a judge ruled the boy's mother, Jada McClain, 18, of Neptune, would remain behind bars at the Monmouth County jail until trial for murder.
According to investigators, the Neptune High School senior gave birth on March 29 in her bathroom after having hidden the pregnancy from her family. She and the boy's father, Quaimere Mohammed, 19, left their son's body wrapped in a blanket inside a garbage bag in a dumpster at Mohammed's Asbury Park apartment complex. A friend of McClain's contacted police on April 4.
Monmouth County Prosecutor’s Office spokesman Chris Swendeman said on Wednesday afternoon there were two factors that led to their decision to end the search in the 900-acre Monmouth County Reclamation Center in Tinton Falls.
Investigators were not aware of the child until nearly a week after he was killed, which greatly diminished their chances of success, according to Swendeman.
"It was a challenge for the cadaver dogs that we would have used in a case like this with some of the other human elements that exist in the reclamation area of that size. It was virtually impossible to send them into search. There’s just too many factors that would have not allowed them to do the job properly," Swendeman said.
Swendeman declined to comment on how this would affect the prosecution's case.
This could be the second high-profile homicide case this Prosecutor's Office has prosecuted without a body. A jury found Liam McAtasney guilty of the December 2016 robbery and murder of Sarah Stern in February. Her car was found abandoned on the Route 35 bridge between Belmar and Neptune two years ago but her body was never recovered.