Police investigate possible baby death at Oregon motel


by KGW Staff


Posted on December 11, 2013 at 8:56 AM

GLADSTONE, Ore. -- Police are investigating the possible death of a 6-month-old baby at a motel in Gladstone, according to authorities.

People staying at the Budget Inn told KGW Tuesday that detectives found an infant's body in a dumpster, but law enforcement officials said that was incorrect.

Gladstone police have not elaborated on any details and would only say that an investigation was under way.

"The Clackamas County Major Crimes Team has been activated and is investigating. The investigation is active and ongoing, therefore we will not have any further comments at this time," said officer Eric Graves with the Gladstone Police Department.

Peggy Kampen, who is the head of housecleaning at the Budget Inn, told KGW Tuesday that she saw a man and woman with a baby last week, and even spoke to them briefly. She said the couple stayed at the motel for five days and then checked out over the weekend without the baby.

Kampen said her coworker went into the room after the couple checked out and noticed they had left baby clothes behind. She did not know who alerted police that the baby might be dead.

Jennifer Dalbey, of Salem, believes she alerted police.  She met the child's mother at a motel in Salem.  The mother shared an unimaginable story with Dalbey.

"She had said to me, 'I wish I could tell you what he did, he's a sick dude, he's a sick dude, he's so messed up what he did to me,' I was like, it's cool, what did he do, tell me, and she said, 'he killed my baby.'"

Dalbey drove the woman to the Gladstone Police Department.  More of the story came out along the way.  According to Dalbey, the mother told her that her boyfriend suffocated the baby and got rid of the body.

"It breaks my heart," said Dalbey.

Witnesses told KGW the couple did not appear to be taking good care of the baby while at the motel. Lynette Bryce has been staying at the motel with her four-year-old daughter and was among those concerned.

"My four-year-old today is asking all about it and I say, 'The baby is being taken care of and going to heaven.' It's emotional for all of us because we have a lot of kids here and to know there is someone that dangerous just a few doors down is scary," she said.

Witnesses also told KGW a woman was taken into police custody but authorities said they were still looking for the man.

The Budget Inn is located at 19240 McLoughlin Blvd. in Gladstone.