UNION CITY — The newborn girl buried last week after being dumped in an apartment complex trash can in May apparently had been stillborn, police said.

Few details have been released, but it appears that the child died from a rare bacterial infection that was contracted through the mother's uterus during a prolonged labor, investigators said.

Detectives received the coroner's report Wednesday afternoon — almost two months after the autopsy was performed — and still were reviewing it.

The infant was buried last week at Chapel of the Chimes on the Union City/Hayward border after police and community groups arranged the ceremony, and police dispatchers gave her the name Matea Esperanza, which means "Gift of God" in Hebrew, and "Hope" in Spanish.

A man digging through the garbage at the Parkside Apartments on Decoto Road found the baby's body May 18 inside a light-colored trash bag left among a pile of rubbish. Since then, police have released few details about the case as they awaited the results of the autopsy. The initial procedure showed no signs of foul play, and further testing was ordered, police said.

Investigators said they have not been able to determine the race of the child. Medical examiners have labeled the girl as Caucasoid, or as a person having light-colored skin.

Although it was unclear Thursday how the most recent information would affect the investigation, police have said that the cause of death would help them determine if they are investigating a homicide, or the illegal dumping of a body, which is a misdemeanor. The girl is the second child found dumped in Tri-City area trash cans during the last three years.


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In 2006, an infant boy was discovered in a trash can outside a Jack In The Box restaurant on Mowry Avenue in Newark. That case has not been solved.