REPORT: ‘Utterly Horrific’ Discovery Made At Phoenix Homeless Encampment

The burned body of a fetus was reportedly discovered at “The Zone,” Phoenix, Arizona’s largest homeless encampment, Saturday.

A witness called 911 around 1:00 a.m. on Saturday to report a child in the roadway in the encampment, according to 12 News. When officers arrived on the scene, they found the burned remains of a newborn child.

The newborn was pronounced dead at the scene, and was estimated to be between 20 and 24 weeks in gestational age, according to 12 News. One witness, Joel Coplin, said that his neighbor’s fiancee “came and was trying to put the fire out, and then he went to stomp on it to put it out and realized it was a baby in there.”

“He saw the head, a perfectly shaped head, and little arms, hands, legs, chest. He grabbed his fiancee and turned away so she wouldn’t see it, and he was freaked out. He called 911,” Coplin continued, according to 12 News.

Coplin stated that while the incident is heartbreaking, hard to comprehend, and “utterly horrific,” it is not a surprising occurrence given the area’s proximity to “The Zone,” 12 News noted. More than 1,000 homeless people have set up a camp in the area, leading to a rapid rise in violent crimes like shootings, stabbings, and rape, according to AZ Big Media.

Police are investigating the events that led up to the newborn being abandoned and burned, with the Office of the Medical Examiner conducting a post mortem in the meantime, according to 12 News. (RELATED: ‘So I Went Out With A Baseball Bat’: Residents Describe Dealing With Rampant Theft In San Francisco)

Dozens of property and business owners are suing the city to do more to address the encampment, calling it a “public nuisance,” according to another report from 12 News. “Enhanced cleaning” of the area is expected to start as early as December.

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