Girl, 9, Finds Abandoned Newborn In Backyard, Safe Haven Baby Boxes Issues Statement

A 9-year-old girl made a startling discovery while she was playing in her backyard at her home in Lowell, Indiana. On Monday morning, at approximately 10:45 a.m., the young girl found a newborn baby girl wrapped in a black towel, laying in the sun at the 18000-block of White Oak Avenue.

According to ABC 7 Chicago, the newborn was described as being full-term with the umbilical cord and placenta still attached. The baby, who is said to be Caucasian with brownish-blonde hair, is lucky to be alive, according to Sheriff John Buncich, and is believed to have been in the backyard for several hours, possibly overnight, before she was discovered.

After the girl’s mother took the baby inside, she called the police and the newborn was transported to the St. Anthony Hospital in Crown Point where she is currently being treated. The doctors treating her said she is expected to make a full recovery, and she will be turned over to foster care on Tuesday. The search for the abandoned newborn’s mother is still underway. Anyone with any information regarding her whereabouts is being asked to contact the Lake County Sheriff’s Office at 1-800-750-2746.

When the news that an abandoned newborn baby was discovered in Lowell, Indiana, many wondered why the mother didn’t use the Safe Haven Baby Boxes that are available in the state. Currently, there are two Safe Haven Baby Boxes locations in Indiana.

  • Woodburn Fire Department located at 22731 Main Street, Woodburn, IN 46797
  • Coolspring Fire Department located at 7111 W. 400 N., Michigan, IN 46360

Although there are only two Safe Haven Baby Boxes locations in Indiana, every fire station, police station, and hospital is a safe haven surrender site where mothers can hand over their newborns to a worker. As of 2016, 3,227 infants have been safely surrendered to Safe Havens locations nationwide, the website reports.

“Safe Haven Baby Boxes allows a mother to place her unwanted child in a baby box that is outside selected fire stations. These boxes are equipped with a heating and cooling feature and are equipped with ADT trips so emergency personal will be notified within 30 seconds that there is a newborn placed in the box. The child will then be picked up by EMS within 3-5 minutes.”

Following the discovery of the newborn baby, Safe Haven Baby Boxes, which is a 501(c)3 that was founded by Monica Kelsey who was abandoned as an infant, issued a statement on Facebook questioning whether or not the mother knew about the drop-off locations. The group said they hope to use this incident to help educate the communities and other desperate mothers who can’t, or don’t want, to keep their baby.

safe haven baby boxes
Safe Haven Baby Boxes introduced at two locations in Indiana [Photo by AP Photo/Michael Conroy, File]

Safe Haven Baby Boxes introduced at two locations in Indiana
[Photo by AP Photo/Michael Conroy, File][/caption]

“Safe Haven Baby Boxes is deeply saddened that a newborn baby girl was abandoned in a yard in Lowell, Indiana,” the statement read. “The baby girl was found by children playing this morning around 11 am. The baby girl is alive and being treated at the neonatal intensive care unit at Franciscan St. Anthony Health in Crown Point, Indiana. While we are still waiting for more information, what we do know is that another infant was not left in a Safe Haven location or as a last resort in the baby box, where help would have arrived within 5 minutes, not the hours it took for children to happen upon this poor little baby girl.”

“We did not receive calls on our hotline from this surrounding area asking for help or information,” the statement continued. “We do not know whether this mother knew about the Safe Haven Law or the Safe Haven Baby Box in Michigan City, Indiana. We have work to do, and we must double our efforts to educate and inform to protect every infant at risk. We are determined to continue to fight this battle for our most vulnerable children and are grateful that this precious little girl is still alive.”

[Photo via Shutterstock]