Abandoned baby found alive - KPLC 7 News, Lake Charles, Louisiana

Abandoned baby found alive

May 14, 2007
Reported by Pam Dixon

A newborn baby girl was found alive just hours after being born. Police haven't arrested anyone, but they say they do have leads. The baby remained at Memorial Hospital Monday evening, while police continued their search for her parents.

Someone discovered the newborn baby girl, only about five hours old. She is healthy. She's African American and weighs eight pounds, one ounce. She was found around 7:30 Monday morning wrapped in a pink blanket outside an apartment complex at 2036 2nd Street. She was on the ground behind a brick partition. The baby girl was sent to the hospital for observation.

Kraus says, "."The child was abandoned, left in a pink blanket. There was evidence at the scene that the child was born outside of a medical facility." While several neighbors say they didn't see or hear anything, they were clearly upset about the news of an abandoned baby outside their homes.

One neighbor said, "I think that's very cruel. I think that if she did something like that, I think she should be punished if you find her." Kraus says, "First off if you abandoned a child it's a pretty serious charge. Secondly if the child dies as a result of that abandonment by the weather or neighborhood animals or whatever the case may be, they can face murder charges."

Calcasieu Parish Child Protection Services has assumed custody of the baby. The search continues for the mother. If the mother is not found, the baby will be placed in foster care. If the mother is found she could face criminal charges.

Lake Charles Police Sgt. Mark Kraus says under Louisiana's Safe Haven Law, the mother could have brought the baby to a safe place-- no questions asked-- rather than risk the child's life.

Kraus says, "Within 30 days after a woman gives birth to a child, it's called the no questions asked act. That person can surrender that child to a police agency. Simply walk in to a police department, a fire department, a hospital, anywhere where there's medical emergency attention that can be provided to that child and simply leave the child with those authorities and walk out to never be seen again. We won't take that person's name. We won't have any identifying factors."

For parents to avoid prosecution under the Safe Haven Law, the infant must be less than 30 days old, not a victim of abuse or neglect and be left at an emergency care facility.

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