Fetus Found in Bathroom of American Airlines Jetliner at LaGuardia Airport in New York City

The fetus was covered with a large amount of toilet paper.
The grim discovery was made by a cleaning crew on board the Airbus A321 aircraft, similar to the plane seen here. iStock

The grim discovery was made by a cleaning crew member.

The body of a fetus was found in a jetliner's toilet Tuesday by an American Airlines cleaning crew, authorities said.

The fetus was discovered hours after Flight 1942 landed Monday night from Charlotte, North Carolina. The aircraft remained at the airport overnight and had been towed to Hangar 5 at LaGuardia Airport for maintenance and cleaning.

Early Tuesday, an attendant cleaning one of the jetliner's four bathrooms saw a large amount of toilet paper in the lavatory, CBS News reported, citing an unnamed source. While removing the paper, the cleaner saw what appeared to be tiny human foot.

"As we continue to learn more about this tragic and sensitive situation, we are actively cooperating with law enforcement in their investigation," the airline said in a statement.

Airport officials warned travelers about 8 a.m., via Twitter, that flyers traveling from B gates would experience delays because of an "out-of-service airplane." 

Port Authority police were summoned. The case has been turned over to the Queens District Attorney's Office, which is investigating. An autopsy will be conducted on the fetus, which appeared to be 5 or 6 months old, CBS News reported.

Authorities were examining surveillance video from Charlotte Douglas International to see if any passengers boarding the New York City flight were noticeably pregnant.

No other details were released about the case.