Local/State

First photos of "Baby Noel" - found in a box in Philadelphia

Thursday, December 22, 2011
Philadelphia police released these pictures of Baby Noel late Thursday afternoon, hoping they might somehow trigger someone to come forward with information about the babys mother and the circumstances surrounding the babys birth. Searching for the box babys mother

There are still more questions than answers to the identity of the mother who left her baby abandoned on a Strawberry Mansion sidewalk.

The search continues for the mother of a newborn baby girl found Wednesday in a box on the street in the Strawberry Mansion section of Philadelphia.

It has been more than 24 hours since the newborn was left alone, swaddled in clothing inside a box. Detectives are now searching desperately for the mother.

The baby remains in St. Christopher's Hospital for Children in Hunting Park where she reported to be doing well.

The police are hoping the baby's features will resemble someone in the neighborhood, and they're hoping the pictures tug at the mother's heartstrings and give her the courage to come forward.

In the meantime the man who found her is thrilled that nurses at St. Christopher's have named her "Noel."

"That's great. That is really great," said Homer Keller.

Baby Noel will be able to go home for Christmas. She will be released from the hospital on Friday, and DHS will place her with a foster family.

That is a far better place than the box she was found in on Wednesday.

The five and a half pound baby girl was found wrapped in clothing and towels inside a cardboard box left on the sidewalk in front of a small day care center.

Robert Taylor and Homer Keller were cleaning up when they found the box on the sidewalk in front of a day care center. They were going to toss it with the rest of trash until Keller heard a noise.

"I heard a little sound like a baby or a kitten or something. I thought it was a kitten, and I pulled the cover back off of it, and it was a baby," explained Keller.

He called 911, and medics rushed the five and half pound girl to the hospital.

Police now want people to take a good look at the face of the child and call them if anyone thinks they might know who the mother is.

They are also hoping someone will recognize the other items found in the box. They include two bathrobes, a brown sweater and a hounds tooth patterned blanket.

So far, investigators have not received any tips and are returning to the neighborhood today to knock on doors. They believe the mother lives in the neighborhood and someone there must know her.

Philadelphia Police Lieutenant Anthony McFadden explained what police are asking residents, saying, "If they know anybody, a friend or family member, who was pregnant and who recently may have given birth," they want to hear from you.

Residents of the neighborhood where the baby was found are still amazed that the mother didn't take her to a safe haven.

"If you don't want the baby or you don't want the child, even if you had it by accident, take her to a hospital, anywhere, there are thousands of places set up in this city now to handle that kind of thing," said Jerome Edwards.

Homer Keller says he can't imagine what the mother was thinking. He's just glad he played a part in what some are calling a Christmas miracle.

"I don't want to judge anybody. Maybe they were out of their mind or something, I don't know. I'm just glad the little girl is alive," said Keller.

She is alive and hopefully facing a much brighter future.

(Copyright ©2014 WPVI-TV/DT. All Rights Reserved.)

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pennsylvania, philadelphia, strawberry mansion, children, local/state
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