Lichtenberg police hope a rare mass DNA test will lead them to the mother of an infant that was found dead in a park in March of 2016.
The police have asked 1,600 women living near a park on Ruschestrasse in Lichtenberg to submit to the test, according to the Tagesspiegel. The women are all of child-bearing age and reportedly have genetic roots to southeastern Europe.
“A saliva test of this scale is very rare and hasn’t happened in Berlin in a long time,” a police spokeswoman told the paper.
Although the test is voluntary, anyone asked to provide a sample who does not comply may be treated as suspicious by prosecutors and forced to provide a sample, the paper reported.
The women have been asked to provide a saliva sample at the DRK Notunterkunft (Red Cross shelter) at Ruschestrasse 104 from April 3 to April 6.
The baby’s corpse was discovered in the park, previously a cemetery, March 8, 2016 wrapped in towels and stuffed into a trash bag, according to the paper. An autopsy showed the baby had been born alive but police were unable to locate the mother, who they believe had only moved to Berlin a few years prior to the birth.
Their investigation also showed the woman lived with a gray tabby cat.
Police conducted a voluntary DNA test in the days following the discovery but none of the 400 women — primarily immigrants and refugees — were determined to be the mother, according to the Tagesspiegel.
Police are offering a reward of €5,000 for information related to the case.
Photo of evidence thanks Berliner Polizei.