Baby Jacob Gerard would have been 25 today.

This year my daughter Kim turned 25. Every year on my daughter's birthday I think of another baby born about a month after her. His name is Jacob Gerard. A new born baby boy abandoned in the early morning hours of Sunday February 27, 1994. He was left near an entrance to Holy Counselor Lutheran Church in Vernon. Investigators believe the person or people who left him there wanted him to be safe and found. That morning temperature was about 14 degrees. The 7 pound baby was wrapped in a light crib blanket. Church services started at 11. The lifeless tiny baby was discovered at 10:50. His body was frozen solid. He was probably outside for 6 hours or more. The light blanket was no match for hours of below freezing temperatures. The cause of death was hypothermia. It took several days for Jacob Gerard's body to thaw out. I heard about what happened when I came in to do the WSUS Morning Show the following day. My month old daughter was so tiny She was home safe and warm. What happened to Jacob Gerard was unimaginable to me. My wife and I cried for months. All of Sussex County was crying. Our whole community came together at a church service and Jacob Gerard was laid to rest in North Hardyston Cemetery. Rev. James Crouthamel and Sussex County Prosecutor Dennis O'Leary named the him Jacob Gerard because the morning sermon at the church was the story of Jacob. St. Gerard is the patron saint of new born children. Today this is a cold case. 25 years later we still do not know who Jacob Gerard's parents are. Chances are they're alive and living with this tragedy everyday. Future advances in DNA science might help investigators find them. If that happened they could still be prosecuted. Since the year 2000 New Jersey has had a Safe Haven Law. Today parents can leave a baby they can't raise at a hospital emergency room or police station. No questions asked. Please remember Jacob Gerard in your prayers this week.

More information about NJ's Safe Haven Law

Holy Counselor Lutheran Church


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