Elissa Davey started Garden of Innocence in 1998; the national non-profit organization provides a burial service for abandoned children that have died.
“They're human beings and they're babies,” said Davey.
Sadly there are currently 18 babies under the age of three months old at the Fresno County morgue. Many of them have been there since 2007. These babies were either still born or abandoned in trash cans. Fresno County coroner Dr. David Hadden says after a certain amount of time all unclaimed bodies go to the morgue.
“Any place that people leave an unattended body it then becomes the duty of the coroner to take care of that body,” said Dr. Hadden.
The bodies will be cremated and stored until a mass burial at a county cemetery. Supervisor Henry Perea is spearheading the contract to allow the organization to take the babies from the morgue so then can have their own burial.
“It's really giving and returning the dignity of these 18 children that have been in our morgue for a while,” said Perea.
If approved by the Fresno County Board of Supervisors, Mountain View Cemetery is donating land. Each child receives a handmade casket or urn with a blanket, a poem and a name. The Knights of Columbus is also at every burial service along with community members.
“They just deserve so much more, they belong on a place in the grass, they belong with a name on the grass,” said Davey.
The Fresno County Board of Supervisors will vote Tuesday September 24th