Last week, an official at the Paintsville Police Department told us about an investigation they are conducting. Department officials asked us and other media outlets for our help in getting out the word that human fetus was found in the wastewater treatment plant.

We posted that brief story to our social media pages and website and, within minutes, we were bombarded with negative comments for taking the plea from an official and asking the public for help.

I called several people prior to posting the plea for help. One was a staunch journalist who said by all means if the information comes form an authority, and then we have a fiduciary responsibility to make the public aware of the situation. That person was a male.

To get anther perspective — this one from a female, I spoke to a health professional. Her initial comment was that we probably should let what may appear as a miscarriage be left alone due to the privacy of that issue. She reached out to others and called me back within minutes.

Her position changed. She checked with several professionals and the general consensus is that something that small, if flushed would be virtually unrecognizable due to all the agitation that wastewater goes through. But because it was recognizable to the person at the treatment plant, there were several assumptions made.

Based upon the scenarios that were explained to me, it became logical that an investigation was warranted. I will not explain the scenarios, because at this time there is not enough information. If this incident was the result of a miscarriage, then it’s private and no one’s business but the mothers, and there is no further story. Having a miscarriage is not illegal.

But the fact that the department wants to talk to the mother to see if she needs any additional help physically or mentally should tell people that the police care about the health and well-being of the citizens. If something tragic happened, then the police will take a different course of action, but until they can find the mother we will never know, hence the plea for our help.

What also came from the conversation with the health professional is that we need better education and more resources for women who are pregnant. In the coming months, we will be conducting meetings with health professionals to develop a game plan to help and offer assistance to women.

This is a very difficult situation. On the surface, it appears to be private. However, if another scenario is determined after an investigation, if that ever happens, it’s a telltale sign that we as a society need to have better resources.

Thanks for reading The Paintsville Herald.