‘We’re the family’: NYPD holds funeral for twin babies found dead in Bronx courtyard

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funeral for twin baby boys in the bronx

The NYPD held a funeral on Sept. 25, 2021, for twin baby boys who were found dead in a Bronx courtyard in November 2020. The case remains unsolved. (Credit: PIX11)

CLAREMONT, the Bronx — NYPD officers in the Bronx held a funeral service Saturday for twin baby boys who were found dead in a courtyard behind a building nearly a year ago.

Detectives are still trying to solve the double homicide of the newborn infants they named Ezekiel and Zain. The babies, who still had their umbilical cords attached, died of blunt force trauma, according to the medical examiner’s office.

The superintendent of an apartment building located at College Avenue and East 172 Street made the discovery on Nov. 9, 2020. At least one of the babies was found inside of a black garbage bag, which also had tissues and a shower loofa, police had said.

Lt. William O’Toole, commanding officer of the Bronx Homicide unit, and his squad have spent nearly a year trying to locate the mother of the babies. Outside of the funeral service on Saturday, he urged anyone who may have information to come forward.

“Somebody knows; somebody suspects,” he said. “Why would she do this? That’s the thing. What kind of desperate situation was she in? Was she forced to do it? Was she alone? Whatever the situation is there, we’re here to help her and get her out of that situation.”

The NYPD has conducted an exhaustive investigation into the case, with officers and detectives canvassing the area, nearby hospitals and other locations. They also spoke with “very cooperative” residents of the building, officials said.

Surveillance video near the area was unhelpful in the search for who put the babies in the courtyard, police had said.

The detectives working on the case decided to coordinate the funeral because no one had come forward to claim the babies as family, O’Toole said.

“There’s no family to bury these kids,” he said. “The detectives took it upon themselves to put this together to bury the children … There was no family, so we’re the family.”

Submit tips to police by calling Crime Stoppers at 1-800-577-TIPS (8477), visiting crimestoppers.nypdonline.org, downloading the NYPD Crime Stoppers mobile app, or texting 274637 (CRIMES) then entering TIP577. Spanish-speaking callers are asked to dial 1-888-57-PISTA (74782).

Cristian Benavides, Aliza Chasan, Corey Crockett contributed to this report.

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