Fact Check

Man Found Dead Baby in Late Mother's Freezer After 37 Years?

The mom allegedly told her son not to look in a box that had been in their freezer for decades.

Published May 13, 2024

 (TikTok account @sandiagh13)
Image courtesy of TikTok account @sandiagh13
Claim:
A St. Louis man found his late mother's dead baby in their freezer 37 years after it was born.

On May 10, 2024, a TikTok user posted a video allegedly showing the story of a man who found the body of a dead baby that was in a box in his freezer for 37 years.

In the footage, which was structured as a news report, the narrator explained how 37-year-old Adam Smith made the shocking discovery while going through his mother's belongings in their apartment after she died of cancer.

Smith's mother purportedly kept the box inside the freezer for decades but told him never to go near it.

"I'm 37 and it has been in my freezer for 37 years and I was always told it was, like, a wedding cake top," Smith said during the 61-second clip, before adding:

"There was a pink blanket, baby blanket, and when I reached down and touched it and I could feel a foot... and I could see the baby's head with hair. Hair was still attached to it."

The narrator also said the baby was less than a year old when he died but was never legally named.

Similar posts appeared elsewhere on TikTok,?Facebook,?Instagram?and on X. Together, they had amassed more than 10.5 million views at the time of this writing.

Snopes found numerous news reports detailing the incident from July 2019, which is why we have rated this story True.

Articles by CNN, The Washington Post and Sky News, along with videos from local news outlets, revealed the discovery took place in late July 2019.

Smith, of St Louis, Missouri, moved in with his mother after she was diagnosed with cancer. He found the "mummified" remains while sorting through her belongings after she died.

On July 12, 2023, local news outlet First Alert 4?issued an update on the story. Police told the publication the baby, who they determined to be a boy, did not die from homicide. Investigators believed?the child was wearing clothes made in the 1960s, was less than a year old, and was never legally named when he died, according to the report.

Sources

Chiu, Allyson. 'His Mother Kept a Cardboard Box in the Freezer for Decades. Inside, He Found a "Mummified" Baby.' Washington Post, 30 July 2019. www.washingtonpost.com, https://www.washingtonpost.com/nation/2019/07/30/st-louis-freezer-baby-adam-smith/.

FOX 2 St. Louis. Days after His Mother's Death, Man Finds Dead Baby Stored in Family Freezer. 2019. YouTube, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=52aU2DvobdA.

Greenwald, Dan, and First Alert 4. Staff. 'St. Louis Police Release New Information on Baby Found in Freezer in 2019'. Https://Www.Firstalert4.Com, 12 July 2023, https://www.firstalert4.com/2023/07/12/baby-found-inside-st-louis-freezer-2019-did-not-die-homicide-police-determine/.

Johnston, Emanuella Grinberg, Chuck. 'A Missouri Man Says He Found a Baby's Body in His Mother's Freezer'. CNN, 30 July 2019, https://www.cnn.com/2019/07/30/us/missouri-infant-freezer/index.html.

KSDK News. Man Finds Frozen Baby in Mom's Freezer in South St. Louis. 2019. YouTube, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CMM59cW_Dj0.

'US Man Discovers "mummified" Baby "Sister" in Dead Mum's Freezer'. Sky News, https://news.sky.com/story/us-man-discovers-mummified-baby-sister-in-dead-mums-freezer-11773532. Accessed 13 May 2024.

Nick Hardinges is a London-based reporter who previously worked as a fact-checker at Reuters.

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