ROCKINGHAM, N.C. (QUEEN CITY NEWS) – Investigators are working to identify and locate the mother of a newborn boy whose body was found along railroad tracks in Rockingham Thursday afternoon.

Detectives sent the baby’s body to the Medical Examiner’s Office in Raleigh, where they’ll draw DNA to try and figure out who the mother is and why she abandoned her baby near the railroad tracks.

Emergency workers in Richmond County got a 911 call that someone walking along the path found the body of a newborn baby next to the railroad tracks between 9th Avenue and South Street in Rockingham Thursday afternoon at about 2 p.m.

“What we suspect through the investigation is that it was put here on this path knowing it was heavily traveled,” said Chief Deputy Jay Childers with the Richmond County Sheriff’s Office.

The mother likely chose the path so that someone would see her newborn baby boy.

“The baby was located right down here beside the tracks,” Childers said.

He was no longer alive when the mother’s newborn boy was found.

“I really don’t know what to feel, what to think. It’s just heartbreak,” said Yesenia Ramos, who lives in Richmond County.

“Anybody that needs help like that, I feel like they should reach out and actually say, ‘I need help,” Ramos said.

Detectives believe the baby was born only several hours before he was found by someone walking along the path.

“We’re still actively trying to find who the mother is or where the mother is,” Childers said.

Investigators are hoping the Medical Examiner’s Office can tell if the newborn was alive when he was born.

“It’s just sad that this baby could have been dropped off somewhere; there’s a lot of people in the community that say, ‘Just bring her to my house, I ain’t asking you no questions, leave them at my house,'” Childers said.

Detectives think the mother carried the baby for almost a full nine months.

“We need the whole story to be able to talk to her,” Childers said.

Investigators also want to talk with the mother to check her health since she did not give birth at a hospital.