An unknown mother who abandoned her day-old newborn in its stroller Monday had many options available to surrender her child safely.
California law allows parents to give up a newborn 72 hours after the child is born without criminal charges, either at a hospital or a fire station, the Los Angeles Times reported.
“It’s saddening… to think, here they are, this close to a church that has social services, and all they had to do was ring the bell,” said Rev. David Matz of St. Agnes, across the street from where the infant was found.
The infant, who is believed to be about a day old, was found with its umbilical cord still attached to its stomach.
It was late Monday when Alex Diaz, who’s homeless, saw the stroller on the sidewalk and thought someone had thrown it out. When it was still there Tuesday afternoon, he grew concerned, he told NBC Los Angeles.
When he walked past the stroller, which he described as dirty, with his own two kids, he found the blanket inside was pretty clean. So he peeked inside.
“Something in me told me to check in it. I moved the blanket and there he was, a … baby boy. He seemed weak, like he couldn’t even move no more.”
The child was in new PJs but was covered in sweat. Diaz was incensed by the sight, according to KTLA.
“You took your time to dress him up, but you couldn’t take your time to take him somewhere safe,” he told the station. “You just left him out on the street — threw him out like trash. Can’t do that to a baby.”
Luckily, he is in the hospital and is reportedly in stable condition.
The stroller and newborn were found in South Los Angeles at an intersection, across the street from a church, an elementary school, and strip mall, and not far from a college campus. Police plan to comb security footage for any sign of the person who left the newborn there, which they assume occurred on Monday night.
By Wednesday, authorities were continuing to search for the newborn’s mother and police are looking for the public’s help.
“We are asking the public’s help to identify the mother — to make sure the mom is safe and why the baby was left here. But the most important thing… is that (he’s) safe,” said LAPD Southwest Division Capt. Sean Parker.
Police are “looking at surveillance and we are knocking on doors to see if someone might have seen something.”
As for Father Matz, he’s a parent himself and plans to visit the little one in the hospital.
[Photo Courtesy YouTube Screengrab]