SASKATOON - Friday morning around the time police were taping off the alleyway behind his Saskatoon apartment building, Jonathon Mercredi was inside, smudging.

"For the baby and to clear my conscience of what I saw," Mercredi said Friday afternoon while standing in the same alleyway.

Mercredi said he was among those who first found a dead infant on Friday morning, resting inside a recycling dumpster in the 400 block of 5th Avenue North.

"She was in a reusable shopping bag, wrapped in plastic. Just thrown away like nothing."

It was a little before 9:00 a.m. when Mercredi was taking his trash out and found two other men looking in the dumpster. 

One of them a bottle-picker, the other a neighbour from a nearby building. 

"The guy searching for bottles came across the infant and I helped the other guy take the infant out, it was a baby girl, probably newborn."

After police were called, Mercredi helped his neighbour return the infant to the dumpster. 

"We ended up putting it back because I said 'Well, it's a crime scene now.'"

According to police there was evidence of a recent birth, which investigators believe occurred at another location. 

The infant's gender has not been shared publically by police and investigators are searching for the child's mother, who police believe may be in a vulnerable physical and emotional state.

"We want this mother to come forward. We want to assist her in any way we can. That’s the priority," Saskatoon Police Service spokesperson Alyson Edwards said Friday during a news conference. 

Mercredi said he expects the experience of finding the child's body will haunt him.

"It's going to be at the back of my mind, I don't know how I'm going to sleep tonight"

With files from CTV News Saskatoon's Laura Woodward