More than a dozen people gathered Monday afternoon at Hillcrest Cemetery in Conway to remember an infant who died after being abandoned.
The infant boy, who came to be called Baby Boy Horry, was discovered by utility workers on Dec. 4, 2008 in a wooded area along Meadowbrook Road. He was less than a day old when he was found deserted inside a shopping bag and has never been identified.
Robert Edge, Horry County Coroner, holds an annual ceremony on behalf of the coroner’s office to honor Baby Boy Horry and in the hopes that the event may stir up information on the case.
Motorcycle group “Rolling Thunder” adopted Baby Boy Horry, and the group attends the ceremony each year to honor him.
Grace Carlson Santa Cruz, dubbed “Baby Grace,” is buried near Baby Boy Horry in a section in Hillcrest cemetery called “Baby Land” where hundreds of other babies have been have been laid to rest since the early 1950s.
“Baby Grace” was buried in the cemetery in November 2015 and is remembered in the ceremony each year alongside Baby Boy Horry.
Thirty five-year-old Sarah Toney, Santa Cruz’s mother, pleaded guilty to homicide by child abuse in the 5-month-old’s drowning death after she was lost in the rushing waters of a Socastee creek on Nov. 3, 2015.
Toney has asked the court for a trial in May saying her plea was made involuntarily, was “unlawfully induced,” and that her lawyer failed to adequately represent her, according to court papers. So far a trial date has not been set.
Those who participate in the annual ceremony also hope to spread awareness that resources, like churches, hospitals, fire and police stations are there to help if parents cannot care for their newborns.