For the past four years, Local 12 has followed the investigation into the 1979 murder of an unidentified Springfield Township baby. Her beaten body was found burning. The community called her Angel because no one knew her name.
Now investigators believe they've talked to a man whom they believe knows her identity-and may know who killed her. Local 12's Crimestoppers Reporter Deborah Dixon talked to him too.
Tim Meloy and Dean Celenza were students at Colerain High School. They were just hanging out one night in February, 1979, when they saw a green and white blazer on I-74 and later, on Colerain Avenue. "Saw him coming up behind, lights flashing, horn sounding, acting crazy. We assumed he was looking for hospital or maybe lost."
They followed the Blazer into the old Providence Hospital. The driver went past the emergency room. He pulled in turned and stopped by the entrance to the hospital's morgue. Tim stayed in his car while Dean got out and talked with the driver. "He had his left arm in sling, I said 'emergency's on the other end.' He said that's ok she's dead. He told me twice she's dead, I'm a fireman and that he taking her to the morgue. What did you see in the back? An outline of a body, a child."
The teens left to eat but felt something was wrong. They went back to see if a man brought a dead baby into the hospital. The answer was no. The next day the body of an African-American baby girl was found burning two blocks from Providence Hospital. Her skull was crushed. "This is 32 years ago. Still a dead baby, with no name, no charges. I had nothing to do with it."
But former Cincinnati fireman James Michael Flynn says he was driving that Blazer that night, his arm was in a sling from a firefighting injury. He worked out of a firehouse at Liberty and Linn. Flynn admits talking to the teens at the hospital. "Remember talking to the boys? Yea. Remember what you said? This baby has no name and was murdered. Two boys, you said she's gone I'm a fireman, I'll take care of it. You're saying none of that happened? I don't believe anything transpired that way."
Flynn says he was driving drunk and going to the hospital because his aunt Margaret died there. No one can find a record of that. Hamilton County Prosecutor Joe Deters says, "Frankly his story doesn't check out, I think he knows who the baby is. He might know who killed her."
DNA taken when baby Angel's body was exhumed four years ago shows Flynn is not her father. Prosecutor Joe Deters also says Flynn is not a murder suspect. He believes the firefighter set out to save the baby. "He was there to get assistance and realized it was too late at some point."
"I think you know what happened. I wish I did. I had nothing to hide. I still have nothing to hide."
"He knows what he had. He knows what I saw. He knows the truth of what happened. We know the truth of what happened."
Whatever Flynn might know he isn't talking. The statute of limitations is up on any crimes he might have committed.. someone could still be charged with murder.
When baby Angel was exhumed the hope was she could be buried again with her name on the headstone. That's not going to happen. Baby Angel will be laid to rest again in a donated casket in Arlington Memorial Garden's baby land. "I would hope we could get some closure for the community for that little baby. Hopefully he'll tell the truth some day."
Anyone who can help with the baby Angel mystery can call Crimestoppers at 352-3040. Remember you never have to give your name to get cash for clues.