Four people wanted for questioning in connection with the discovery of a newborn baby's body in a dumpster in South Lakeland. | Lakeland Police Department

Preliminary findings from the Medical Examiner’s office indicate that a baby boy found dead in a dumpster last Thursday was a full-term infant born deceased, who never took a breath and had a severe brain deformity.

“The initial results do not indicate homicide or that foul play caused the infant’s death,” a press release issued late Monday night from Lakeland Police stated.

A man rummaging through a dumpster behing Just Move gym on South Florida Avenue found the infant in a plastic bag and called police.

After LPD released photographs of four people they said they wanted to speak with about the case, 34-year-old Brusela D’Enstachio-Lugo went to the police station on Massachusetts Avenue and asked to speak with detectives.

“During her interview, she was cooperative with detectives and admitted giving birth alone outside her residence during the early morning hours of May 10,” the press release states. “She told detectives she was unaware she was pregnant before giving birth, stating that she only had minor symptoms and believed she was just getting sick.”

D’Enstachio-Lugo said that she did not go to the hospital afterward because she is in the United States illegally and didn’t want to get in trouble, nor did she have any money to pay the medical expenses. She admitted putting the infant’s remains in the dumpster later that same evening. Lakeland Police Chief Sam Taylor said she has other children.

After consultation with the State Attorney’s Office, D’Enstachio-Lugo has been charged with a misdemeanor for violating a statute dealing with the storage, preservation, and transportation of human remains. She has been ordered to appear in court.

DNA was collected from D’Enstachio-Lugo to compare with the deceased infant’s. The Department of Homeland Security was contacted regarding her immigration status and provided information on the case.

LPD officials say this remains an open and active case as results from additional forensics tests are in progress.

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Kimberly C. Moore, who grew up in Lakeland, has been a print, broadcast and multimedia journalist for more than 30 years. Before coming to LkldNow in the spring of 2022, she was a reporter for four years with The Ledger, first covering Lakeland City Hall and then Polk County schools. She is the author of “Star Crossed: The Story of Astronaut Lisa Nowak," published by University Press of Florida. Reach her at or 863-272-9250.

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