Two babies whose shocking and tragic deaths made headlines across the area will get a final resting place and a name to be remembered by.
Rest in His Arms has announced it will conduct funeral services next week for Baby Jane Uddin, a newborn dropped from an 8th-floor window by his mother in 2015 in Uptown; and Baby Hoover, whose decomposed body was found in a shed in south suburban Dolton last spring.
“We have two new daughters,” Susan Walker, founder of the Wheeling-based group, said in a statement announcing that both children will be laid to rest at a joint funeral Mass and burial next week in the northwest suburbs.
“Baby Mariam Jane was born in Chicago’s Uptown neighborhood,” according to Walker. “Soon after birth, she was dropped from her family’s 8th-floor apartment window–an apartment that was about ½ block from a Baby Safe Haven.”
Her mother, Mubashra Uddin, 19 when she was charged with murder, pleaded guilty in July to involuntary manslaughter and was sentenced to four years’ probation, according to Cook County state’s attorney’s office spokeswoman Tandra Simonton. Judge Carol Howard sentenced Uddin to 48 months’ probation and ordered her to pay a $579 fine, but she was given credit for 603 days served in the Cook County Jail.
The baby was found about 11:15 p.m. on November 11, 2015, outside an apartment building in the 800 block of West Eastwood, according to Chicago Police.
Uddin had dropped the infant from the window shortly after giving birth, prosecutors said. The still-breathing girl was found by a neighbor, who bundled her up and called paramedics. She had suffered skull fractures, a spinal fracture, broken left shoulder, fractured left and right ribs, and internal organ damage, prosecutors said. An autopsy ruled her death a homicide.
At court hearings, Uddin’s lawyers and friends said she was overwhelmed by the pressure of raising a baby as an unwed mother in a pious immigrant family. She was treated for depression at the jail.
A Muslim of Pakistani descent, she hid the pregnancy from her parents, prosecutors said. She gave birth in her bedroom, and minutes later, when she heard her mother approaching, opened the window, held the baby out and dropped her, according to prosecutors.
“She lived for about 90 minutes before succumbing to her extensive injuries and dying,” Walker said. “Her entire short life was spent in agony.”
While Baby Marian Jane’s story played out in court, the other child’s life and death remain a mystery.
Now named Baby Ariyah Mikayla, she was found June 7 in a shed in Dolton, according to Walker. “Not much else is known at this point other than she may have been there for several days before being found. How horrific it must have been for her to die alone.”
The homeowner and a family member were cleaning out the shed in the 15700 block of South Drexel when they smelled a foul odor, according to Dolton Police Chief Robert Collins. After finding a bag and taking it out into the yard, the homeowner found the decomposing body inside.
A spokesman for the Cook County medical examiner’s office said Friday the child’s age, cause and manner of death have not been determined. However, tests confirmed it was a girl, and she has been identified as Baby Hoover, though the parents’ identities were not disclosed.
When a baby’s autopsy is complete, the parents can sign a release if they do not want the remains, according to Becky Schlikerman of the medical examiner’s office. The remains are then buried as indigent by the county, or groups like Rest in His Arms step in to provide burial, she said.
“Now, both of these innocent babies have been claimed and their brief lives will be honored,” according to Walker.
The Mass will begin at 10 a.m. Wednesday at St. Mary Parish in Buffalo Grove, with burial to follow at All Saints Cemetery in Des Plaines.
The public is invited, spokeswoman Amy Woolsey said.
“Please come and stand as a witness to the value and dignity of a little child’s brief life. Please come and be their family. Please come to pray with us and be comforted as we mourn their tragic deaths.”
The group provides funerals for abandoned babies and works to raise awareness of Baby Safe Haven laws, which allow unwanted infants up to 30 days old to be dropped off at hospitals, fire stations or police stations.
“Since September 2005, Rest in His Arms has helped to bury almost 40 children,” Walker said. “Each situation is heartbreaking because it is always difficult to bury a child. But in both of these cases, the deaths were preventable if only the mothers had known about and taken advantage of the Baby Safe Haven Law.
“Mariam and Ariyah could both be in the world today if their mothers knew there was another alternative. Instead, their lives were cut tragically short and the world will never know these two precious children and the contributions they could have made.”