Wednesday, July 26, 2006


Not to make light of the situation, but there are new developments in the case of the baby allegedly abandoned at the Metro Transit bus stop in Minneapolis. It seems that police are starting to doubt the story of the woman who claimed that she found the infant.

As recently as late Tuesday, police believed that Rachel Thin Elk had rescued Trista Sedeno-Bird Horse from a bench in a bus shelter at the intersection of Chicago and Franklin Avenues S.

Thin Elk's story has since come under fire, said Minneapolis Lt. Greg Reinhardt. While Minneapolis police aren't investigating the case, they are assisting with the documentation of the calls for service, Reinhardt said.

"The entire story is falling apart," he said.

Thin Elk said today that she is sticking to her story and that it she didn�t appreciate police questioning it.

* * *

It will be up to Metro Transit to sort out definitively whether the story is true or not, he said.

Gibbons declined to characterize Thin Elk's statements, saying that too was part of the ongoing investigation.

"Now that we have the mother in custody, we can start talking to additional people with knowledge of the investigation," Gibbons said. "We're not making any assertions that she did or did not rescue the baby.

"We need to take a step back and get perspective," he said. "At least the baby is safe."

I am reminded of an episode of the Rockford Files, where Jim Rockford can't believe how a rival private investigator relies on blind luck to solve his cases. Rockford tells him:

You have to be cynical, you have to question things. You can't take someone named Belle LaBelle on face value. What's her angle, huh? Who's payroll is she on? You find out the answers to those things, and then you start movin' fast and crooked. You go through doorways sideways and low, at odd angles. You look for the big lie, question everything.

Good advice for the media and the police, especially on this story.