Mother of abandoned baby found

May 15, 2007
Reported by Pam Dixon

Lake Charles police have found the mother of a baby reported abandoned outside a Lake Charles apartment complex Monday. KPLC's Pam Dixon has more on this discovery and the little girl who is capturing the hearts of strangers.

The little baby girl, barely two days old, is a survivor. She was only about five hours old when someone called 911 to report a baby left alone outside a 2nd Street apartment complex. The little girl with no home or family has found a home for now at the Neo Natal Intensive Care Unit at Memorial Hospital's Gauthier Campus. NICU nurse Sharon Gotreaux says, "Everybody wanted to come see her. Everybody was curious. We all thought she was beautiful. She's perfect."

Here she has found a lot of love and attention. Hospital staff have named her Kari after the nurse who has spent the most time with her-- Kari Manuel. Manuel says, "Any little noise she makes, even though she doesn't make a whole lot of noises, I quickly go over to see what she needs. I try to comfort her as much as possible."

Dr. Juan Bossano is overseeing baby Kari's care. Bossano says, "She had something that we had to watch and make sure everything was okay. Overall she's doing pretty good. But there are some risks for for infection, some risk for low temperature and other things that we have to watch for a short period of time."

Baby Kari could stay in the hospital two or three more days for observation. Her next home may be foster care.

Detectives found out who the mother of the baby is when they re-interviewed witnesses. Police say the baby was not in danger. Someone was with her until police arrived, so the mother won't be charged. Louisiana's Safe Haven law allows a mother to surrender her newborn baby to emergency personnel, no questions asked. Police won't disclose the circumstances of the discovery to protect the mother's identity.