An infant who was allegedly found dead in Bayside’s Crocheron Park turned out to be a lifelike doll set up by a sick prankster, according to police.
Multiple sources confirmed that what was initially believed to be the body of a deceased infant was actually a doll “made to look like it was decomposing.”
At around 8:15 a.m. on June 18, officers from the 111th Precinct responded to a call about a baby who was unconscious and unresponsive in the vicinity of 215th Street and 35th Avenue. A runner had reportedly stumbled upon the baby’s body around 7:40 a.m.
The report triggered a massive response by the NYPD and the Fire Department. Nearby residents were alarmed by the response. People in Bayside who heard about what had allegedly occurred took to social media to express their shock and condolences.
But then the truth was uncovered.
Reports later confirmed that the “baby” was actually a doll that was colored pink and blue, which police described as “very realistic.” The fake baby was so realistic that it initially fooled NYPD and EMS personnel who responded to the scene.
It’s not clear, at this point in the investigation, who planted the doll in the park and called in the “dead baby” report, nor did police know of a possible motive for the sick ruse. They are currently searching for cameras in the park to see if they can catch the culprit.
Before investigators determined it was all a prank, residents living near the scene expressed shock by the initial report that a baby’s body had been found in the park.
“I was walking my dog here 1:00 in the morning and I didn’t see anything,” said Jackie Matuk, 51. “This park is filled with kids all the time…people walking their dogs. It’s a family park. Whatever the circumstances, it must’ve been super painful for the person who left the baby probably was suffering.”
“It’s upsetting and especially right by a school, I’m worried about what the kids will hear,” she added.
Carlotta Mohamed and Robert Pozarycki contributed to this report. This story was updated at 11:55 a.m.