BUCKHANNON, W.Va. (WBOY) — Remains of a fetus were found behind a Buckhannon building on Monday, according to a release from the Buckhannon Police Department.
The release stated that the department received a call around 8 p.m. on Jan. 2 that the remains had been found behind an Island Avenue building along the Buckhannon River. The release did not specify if it was a business or residential building.
Initial investigation revealed that the child was “in an unknown state of development”; the remains have been sent to the WV State Medical Examiner’s Office in Charleston for evaluation.
According to the release, officers believe they have identified and located the mother of the child, but the situation is still being investigated.
In addition to the Buckhannon Police Department, West Virginia State Police, Upshur County Sheriff’s Department, Randolph County Sheriff’s Department, Upshur County EMS and State Medical Examiner’s Office all responded to the scene.
A new abortion law was signed into law in West Virginia in September that makes it illegal to perform abortions in most cases. Under House Bill 302, physicians who perform illegal abortions will have their medical license revoked, but “no penalty may be assessed against any patient upon whom an abortion is performed or induced or attempted to be performed or induced.”
Cases where abortions are legal in West Virginia include rape and incest as long as the procedure is performed in the first eight weeks of pregnancy for adults and 14 weeks for minors, non-viable fetuses, fetal anomalies and medical emergencies. All of these procedures must ber performed by a physician. According to WV Code §61-2-8, “Any person other than a licensed medical professional… who knowingly and willfully performs, induces, or attempts to perform or induce an abortion… is guilty of a felony.”