17 Years Later, Johnson Co. Investigators Still Working to Name ‘Angel Baby Doe'

Seventeen years ago, someone left a newborn baby on the side of the road outside Cleburne. A stranger found her body and the Johnson County Sheriff's Office has never stopped working to find out who she is and who left her there.

Her gravestone stands in Rosehill Cemetery in Cleburne, marked only with the words ‘Angel Baby Doe.’ Different investigators have taken on the case over the years and now more than ever, they're determined to put a name on the grave marker and truly honor her memory. No one more so than the man who found her.

"I inherited another baby," Johnny Riddle said, looking down at the gravestone.

Riddle is the closest thing to family Angel Baby Doe has.

"I didn't want to find her that way,” Riddle said. “I wish I could have found her alive."

He was driving to Walmart, picking up cans along the road when he saw her.

"I thought it was a doll and then when I went back, it was real," said Riddle.

Riddle called the Johnson County Sheriff's Office and investigators have been following leads ever since. Now on the 17th anniversary, deputies put out a new plea for information, hoping time will stir someone's conscience.

"We know that this can't be easy for them to deal with and we know that someone out there knows something, a friend, a family member," said Johnson County Sheriff’s Deputy Aaron Pitts.

Riddle has the same hope.

"I just wish that they could find the person that did that,” he said. “I mean, I'd like to know."

Riddle was drawn even closer to the unnamed baby when his own grandson was buried not 20 feet away, a stillborn, seven years after Baby Doe.

"I wish he was here with me," Riddle said, looking at his grandson’s grave.

But at least his grandson has a name and a proper memorial. Riddle says it's time for the same for the baby girl who's become his own.

"I love her to death, I do," Riddle said.

Riddle’s family bought the clothing Angel Baby Doe was buried in, and for years his family would bring a Christmas tree to her grave site.

“That way she would at least have some type of Christmas showing that somebody cared about her,” Riddle said.

The Sheriff's Office does have Angel Baby Doe’s DNA but they need someone to compare it to, to be able to identify her.

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