Charles Lindbergh’s baby son found dead (1932)

Worth noting: The lead investigator, Colonel H Norman Schwarzkopf of the NJ State Police, was the father of General H Norman Schwarzkopf Jr, of Desert Storm/Gulf War I fame.


Lindbergh baby found slain

Kidnapping victim murdered, thrown into shallow grave; manhunt begins

Truck driver discovers tiny form of child in brush within sight of famous flier’s home; skull fractured

Baby killed soon after tragic abduction

Authorities report callous brutality at hands of criminals; grief-stricken parent aids identification

By Bates Rainey

Hopewell, NJ, May 12, 1932 — Charles Augustus Lindbergh Jr, infant son of the world-famous aviator, was found dead today at Mount Rose, NJ, near the Sourland mountain home from which he was kidnapped 73 days ago.

The tragic end to an international search came with an official announcement at the Lindbergh home of the pitiful discovery.

The discovery set in motion what promises to be the greatest manhunt in the history of the country.

Charles-Lindbergh-aviatorThe announcement was made by Colonel H Norman Schwarzkopf, who has been in charge of the kidnapping investigation since the baby was stolen from its crib on the night of March 1.

The body, reduced to skeleton, was found by William Allen and Orville Wilson, who were driving along the road from Trenton on what is known as Mount Rose hill.

The body was beneath a pile of brush, Schwarzkopf said.

The discovery was made at 3:15 pm and identification was furthered by discovery of a flannel undershirt and band which, compared with the clothing known to have been worn by the child the night of the kidnapping, left no doubt as to his identity.

The baby had been murdered.

Merciless treatment practiced by child’s abductors; autopsy shows head injuries

A statement by County Physician Charles H Mitchel, who conducted an autopsy on the body, left no doubt of the callous brutality of the child’s abductors.

Japan declares war by bombing Pearl Harbor in Hawaii, and the US joins WWII (1941)

The baby’s skull had been fractured. “He was either hurled from an automobile or struck over the head,” Dr Mitchel reported.

The child was lying on his face, and from its position, indicated that attempts had been made to conceal or bury it. In his forehead was a hole about the size of a 25-cent piece. The body was taken to the Lindbergh home, where Mrs Lindbergh completed the tragic identification.

By a tragic turn of fate, Colonel Lindbergh, hopefully investigating the latest set of false clues to the kidnappers’ trail, was away from his home when the discovery of his child’s body was made and Anne Morrow Lindbergh was forced to bear the burden of grief — for awhile — alone.

The colonel returned to his home late today by automobile, state police said.

Colonel Lindbergh had been absent, aiding in the search for his kidnapped son, at the time the body of the child was found.

In his official statement, Colonel Schwarzkopf said:

“We have to announce that apparently the body of the Lindbergh baby was found at 3:15 pm today by William Allen, colored, of Trenton, who was riding on the Mount Rose road toward Hopewell.

“He was riding with Orville Wilson on a truckload of timber. They stopped the truck and found a baby.”

Although the first paragraph of Schwarzkopf’s statement contained the word “apparently,” Mrs Lindbergh’s identification left no doubt as to the absolute identification of the baby.

The new TV series: Little House on the Prairie (1974)

“Going into the woods,” Schwarzkopf’s statement continued, “and going under a bush, he (Allen) lowered his head and as he raised his head he saw the skeleton on the ground.”

Men decide to rush for police officers after grim discovery in underbrush

“He says in his statement that what he saw had a person’s foot on it. He called back to Mr Wilson. Mr Wilson ran into the woods, saw what it was, and decided to go to Hopewell and get the police.

“He notified Chief Wolf, who notified these headquarters. Inspector Walsh of Jersey City, Sergeant Moffatt of the Newark police, Lieutenant Keaton of the New Jersey state police, and a number of other detectives immediately went to the scene.

“They reported finding the body of a child, estimated to be between a year and a half and two years old, in a bad state of decomposition, but having blond hair and wearing what appeared to be an undershirt and a flannel band around the body.

“Not satisfied with this as identification, men were sent back into Hopewell to the Lindbergh estate to get samples of the undershirt the baby wore and of the flannel shirt the baby had on the night of the kidnapping.

“This flannel shirt had an embroidered scalloped edge on it. These articles were taken back to the scene and compared with the clothing found on the body and were matched closely enough to afford an identification of the body as that of the Lindbergh baby.

“The statement of William Allen and Orville Wilson says that the body was pretty well concealed by leaves, dirt and brush. The skull had a hole in it about the size of a quarter just above the forehead. The body was lying in a depression as though an attempt had been made to bury it face down. The body was in a very bad state of decomposition.

Newspaper headlines from the real-life Death of a Cheerleader story: The Kirsten Costas murder (1984)

“Mercer county physician, Dr Charles H Mitchel, and the county coroner, Walter Swayze, were immediately called in.”

Colonel Schwarzkopf added that the coroner had taken charge of the body and had taken it to Trenton, where an autopsy was being performed by Dr Mitchel.

Send this to a friend