New Brunswick

Mother wants baby’s body exhumed to solve mystery

A Moncton woman is seeking to exhume the body of a baby that she believes is not hers as she hopes to solve a mystery that has spanned almost three decades.

Moncton woman believes the infant who died 29 years ago is not her baby Steve

A Moncton woman is seeking to exhume the body of a baby that she believes is not hers as she hopes to solve a mystery that has spanned almost three decades.

Jeannine Gallant's son, Steve, was declared dead as an infant, 29 years ago but the mother said she's sure that baby buried was not hers and she believes her own son is alive.

Gallant, who was 21 when Steve was born, said her baby was taken to The Moncton Hospital in 1982 to have his club feet repaired.

But she said when she visited him, she was presented with a baby who she never believed was her own.

Gallant did not believe this baby was hers upon seeing him because she said he was unrecognizable from tubes and swelling.

The doctors told her it was her baby and she loved the baby as her own.

That baby never left the hospital, dying there three months later.

But 29 years later, she said something never settled with her. Gallant said she’s been haunted by that feeling that she never received her son back.

"If I go to the mall, I look everywhere. If I see people of Steve's age, boys, I wonder if it's my son. I wonder if it's my son," Gallant said.

Gallant said she has too much doubt to accept that her baby really died.

The hospital has also thrown up a series of roadblocks that have prevented her from achieving the closure that she is seeking.

Gallant said she's never gotten the autopsy of her son that she's repeatedly requested.

There are other inconsistencies that are fueling her disbelief. For instance, one hospital document lists Steve's date of death in August, while the funeral home lists it as November.

The Horizon Health Authority recently told her that many of the baby's medical tests from that period have since been lost or discarded.

Considering the uncertainty, Gallant said she wants the baby’s body exhumed so DNA testing can be performed. That step would give her closure after 29 years.

"If it's a waste of money to them, it's not to me. I'll get to the bottom of it. If he's there, rest in peace. But if he's not, I want to find him," she said.

Gallant said she's getting a lawyer to help her have the body exhumed.

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