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Identity of boy’s body a mystery

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"He's been in the water for so many months we don't know where he came from," said Officer Kenneth Beecher of the 100th Precinct.Beecher said police received a call at 4:50 p.m. Saturday that people walking their dog on the beach had spotted the small child swaddled in a Mickey Mouse blanket and stuffed in a yellow canvas bag."He was so tightly wrapped up that most of his body was mummified. It was barely decomposed," Beecher said. Police earlier estimated the boy to be a 1-year-old infant, but medical examiners have since said he is likely to be between 3 and 5 years old. An anthropologist was analyzing the body's bone development and any signs of trauma to determine the child's age, race and cause of death, according to the medical examiner's office.A spokeswoman at the office said they hope to have results in about a week. The forensic anthropologist, Bradley Adams, previously worked for the Army's Central Identification Laboratory Hawaii, which in 2003 identified the remains of the first "unknown" Korean War soldier. Pfc. Ronald Lilledahl, of Minneapolis, Minn., was killed in action Nov. 28, 1950 in Korea and buried in a shallow grave, according to the U.S. Department of Defense. Between 1999 and 2002, scientists tried but failed to extract DNA from the bone samples. Only after Lilledahl's teeth were compared with almost 40,000 dental patterns was the solder identified, the defense department said.Adams has been with the medical examiner's office for about a year, a spokeswoman said. Meanwhile, police were searching for any information on a missing child that would help identify the body. "From June to September this place turns into northern Queens with all the people who come down to the beach," Beecher said. "We're hoping someone sees this and calls us to say, 'you know, I haven't seen my neighbor's kid in a while.'" Anyone with information should call the 100th Precinct at 718-318-4233 or call 311.Reporter Michael Morton contributed to this article. Reach reporter Zach Patberg by e-mail at news@timesledger.com or by phone at 718-229-0300, Ext. 155.

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