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“Coffin Birth” Could Link Bodies

A rare phenomenon called “coffin birth” could link the bodies of the woman and baby that came ashore on a northern California beach.

Investigators are trying to determine if the decomposed remains are those of Laci Peterson and her unborn son. Peterson was eight months pregnant when she disappeared from her Modesto home on Christmas Eve.

Coroners say there can be spontaneous birth by a dead pregnant woman – especially when the body has not been embalmed. Gas can produce enough pressure to push an unborn baby through the birth canal.

Authorities say it could take days – or weeks – to determine if the bodies are those of Peterson and her baby.