A newborn baby boy was abandoned down a storm drain in Sydney. The hole leading into the drain was just big enough for a child, leading authorities to believe the newborn was dropped through.
He was found when a cyclist riding along the nearby bike track heard his cries. The cyclist called police and gathered a group of people who were passing by. They managed to lift the slab covering the drain. It weighed over 220kg (440lbs) and took six people to lift.
“With the help of the bystanders en masse, we managed to lift this quite heavy concrete slab up to get the police down there to the baby. We thought the worst but the baby was still alive,” said Inspector David Lagats.
The newborn, wrapped in plastic and a hospital blanket, was found 2.5 meters down at the bottom of the drain. Inspectors believe he was able to survive his fall because of how tightly he was wrapped.
Inspector Lagats stated, “Once we found out how far the drop was, we were concerned about the baby’s welfare but it was wrapped up pretty well.”
Senior-Constable Mark McAlister and another officer were able to get into the drain and brought the newborn boy out.
“How could someone do it? I, myself, have kids and we’re expecting a baby in a few more months so it’s not good that someone’s going through this and has done this to a little one,” Senior-Constable McAlister said.
Lisa Charet, the family and community services district director for Western Sydney, made a plea for the parents of the newborn to step forward. She explained that anyone who would so callously abandon a child usually does so out of desperation.
“Often when this sort of thing happens, people are in a place of desperation. There has been cases where mothers have had postnatal depression or those issues or are very young and don’t know where to go to for help. You have to be in a fairly desperate place to commit this sort of act and so that’s where we would rather people come forward and get the support that they need.”
The newborn is said to be of Indian or Middle Eastern descent. Police have received reports from witnesses who saw a Middle Eastern man, wearing an orange shirt, walking away from the area of the storm drain just before the newborn was found.
Officials would like anyone with information on the newborn baby boy, or his family, to call Crimestoppers at 1-800-333-000.
[Image courtesy of NSW Police]