Local/State

Newborn discovered in abandoned North Philadelphia home, mother found

Monday, April 15, 2013

Police say a 19-year-old woman who reported hearing a baby outside an abandoned Philadelphia house is the newborn's mother.

"This is unbelievable. I don't know, who would leave a baby in the backyard?" said Jernaine Wyatt.

It was 47 degrees outside at 5:30 Sunday morning when police got the call that a newborn baby girl was found in the backyard behind an abandoned building on the 2900 block of North Bonsall Street.

A 19-year-old woman next door said she heard the baby crying. Police now say that teenager is the infant's mother and put the baby outside herself.

"They should have went to the hospital, took the baby to the hospital instead of leaving the baby," said James Barnes.

Police say the baby girl was found unclothed with the umbilical cord still attached.

She has a small scratch on her head and is being treated at St. Christopher's Hospital but is otherwise healthy.

The 19-year-old mother, who apparently lost a lot of blood, was taken to Temple University Hospital. Police say she is in stable condition and will recover.

Why she allegedly left her newborn out in the cold is still unclear.

"It's sad, really sad. Whatever charges she gets she deserves because if you know to roll up a baby and put him next door then you know," said Kenya Shaw.

Pennsylvania does have a Safe Haven Law, which allows people to surrender infants up to 28 days old at hospitals without fear of prosecution as long as the baby is unharmed.

The District Attorney's Office will decide whether or not to file charges against the mother. The mother is no longer in police custody.

Meanwhile Human Services has been called into make an evaluation about what will happen to the baby.

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philadelphia, north philadelphia, local/state
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