The Erie County Coroner's Office will perform an autopsy today on a baby found dead inside a black luggage bag Tuesday afternoon along East Eighth Street.
Fire crews called to a home at 745 E. Eighth St. at about 4:16 p.m. for a kitchen fire noticed the black bag and a terrible stench.
They opened the bag and saw a baby in a diaper. They closed the bag and called police.
Erie County Deputy Coroner Dennis Suscheck briefly examined the baby in front of the residence at 745 E. Eighth St. Tuesday afternoon and said he could not immediately determine a gender, race or age because of the extent of decomposition.
Suscheck said he believed the baby had been in the suitcase for several days.
He said Dr. Eric Vey, Erie County's forensic pathologist, will begin the autopsy today at 10 a.m.
Suscheck said the baby had been clothed and was wearing a diaper.
A pink blanket was found inside the bag with the child.
The suitcase was found on the road next to the driveway entrance at 745 E. Eighth St.
The suitcase had been wrapped in another blanket when firefighters opened it.
Neighbors said they noticed the black suitcase stacked with garbage in the 700 block of East Eighth Street Monday afternoon. They said it was washed east down the street -- about 100 feet -- by Monday night's heavy rains.
Police said they believe residents in the house at 745 E. Eighth St. have nothing to do with the baby or the bag.
"It's heartbreaking, especially the way it happened,'' said Monica Gales, 35, who lives at 745 E. Eighth St. "I know I'm not going to be able to sleep.''
Gales said she called the fire department to report a grease fire on her stove.
"They got here and went to work, and had the fire out in a couple minutes,'' Gales said.
"As they were coming out, one of the firefighters tripped over the bag, and then he looked in it and you could tell by his expression it was something scary and that it wasn't supposed to be there,'' she said.
Police cordoned off a stretch of the street from 745 E. Eighth St. toward 731 E. Eighth St. for about two hours.
Several uniformed police officers and a couple detectives interviewed neighbors. The baby and luggage bag were removed from the scene at about 6 p.m.