Woman who found Geauga’s Child 26 years ago speaks out as the case has been solved

Cheryl Jenkins and a friend discovered the child on the side of the road and the discovery has haunted her for years.

Woman who found Geauga’s Child 26 years ago speaks out as the case has been solved
Cheryl Jenkins on the left as 19 News interviewed her on Saturday and on the right in our interview, after she discovered the body of a deceased newborn, Geauga's Child, in 1993

GEAUGA COUNTY, Ohio (WOIO) - Cheryl Jenkins was just 21 years old, out delivering newspapers with her friend Wendy Sweeney, when they found a newborn baby, deceased, on the side of a rural road in Geauga County.

That traumatic event, she told us on Saturday, has stayed with her all of her life.

“I always think about him, I’ve never forgotten that day, I mean it’s burned in my memory, every step of that day,” Jenkins said.

In 1993, 19 News interviewed Jenkins after she discovered the baby.

Woman who found Geauga’s Child 26 years ago speaks out as the case has been solved

“I just hope they find out who did it, I hope they’re punished because there are a lot of people out there who want babies, they could have gave it up for adoption,” she said in that 1993 interview.

Through the evolution of DNA evidence and hard work, law enforcement did find out who was responsible.

Gail Eastwood-Ritchey, of Euclid, admitted the crime to Geauga County Sheriff’s Office Investigators and has been charged with murder.

And the thoughts of Cheryl Jenkins have not changed much in 26 years.

“That lady could have dropped that kid on a doorstep, done something with him, taken him to a Church,” she said.

Jenkins remembers being devastated and remembers police arriving on the scene just as devastated.

She’s grateful, all those years ago, the community came together and paid for the burial of Geauga’s Child, and now she’s grateful the case has been solved.

“Oh thank God, now this poor baby can rest in peace,” she said.

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