Deceased 6-month-old found in woods on Mother’s Day weekend identified

Kha'liya Bridgewater, 6 months old, was found deceased in a wooded area on May 13, 2023.
Kha'liya Bridgewater, 6 months old, was found deceased in a wooded area on May 13, 2023.(Family)
Published: Jun. 1, 2023 at 11:22 AM CDT
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KANSAS CITY, Mo. (KCTV) - An infant whose body was discovered in the woods on the day before Mother’s Day has been identified.

The Kansas City, Missouri, Police Department stated that the child was Kha’liya Bridgewater. She was just 6 months old.

Following the discovery, Kansas City police made a public plea for information. Several people contacted investigators after learning a baby’s body was found near E. 41st Street and Pittman Road.

According to the search warrant, police were told the baby was 6 months old at the time of her death.

One witness told police that a mother had reported her 6-month-old had died. However, no funeral arrangements were made and the mother was not providing any information regarding how the baby died.

A second witness said they received a message from the mother, which stated the baby died in her sleep on the night of Thursday, May 4. The baby was discovered by a passerby on May 13 in a 19-acre vacant lot off Pittman Road.

Detectives contacted the two medical examiner’s offices that cover the Kansas City metro area. They determined the 6-month-old’s death had not been reported.

According to court records, a witness said the child’s mother told them that the baby had died in her sleep from SIDS and not to tell anybody. She also reportedly told the witness that police and an ambulance had responded after the child’s death.

Investigators said that, when they questioned her, the mother originally told them she only had two children. After being challenged multiple times on having a third child, police said she admitted her third child was now deceased.

During questioning, police said she provided numerous versions of events for the night her daughter died. She claimed to not know how she died.

Family members have organized a candlelight vigil and balloon release on Friday at 8 p.m. There also is a GoFundMe set up by the girl’s grandparents.