A nine-year-old Indiana girl is being hailed as a “guardian angel” after finding an abandoned newborn infant in her back yard, CBS News is reporting.
Elysia Laub was hanging out in her backyard in Lowell, Indiana – a northwest Indiana community about 40 miles from Chicago – when she heard a noise. At first, she thought it was a piglet (the family keeps pigs on their property).
“It just freaked me out. I didn’t know what it was.”
— Randi Belisomo (@RandiBelisomo) July 11, 2016
Not knowing what to do, the young girl called her mom, Heidi, according to The Washington Post.
“Mom. There’s something in the yard.”
The two investigated, and what they found shocked them: a newborn infant, wrapped in a black towel, with its umbilical cord and placenta still attached. The placenta and the umbilical cord were both covered in maggots.
“I thought it was a robotic doll.”
Heidi wrapped up the newborn baby with a blanket and ran inside to call the authorities.
9 yr old Elysia Laub found newborn baby while playing outside her house Authorities calling her a “guardian angel.” pic.twitter.com/8VgaQ9hcKq
— marco stendardo (@NBC5Marco) July 11, 2016
Lake County Sheriff John Buncich said at a news conference Monday that the baby was likely less than a day old when she was found and had only been in Elysia’s back yard for a few hours, possibly having been left there overnight.
“The officers that are involved are really taking a really personal approach to this.”
Authorities have named the baby “Infant Jane Doe.” She was taken to a nearby hospital and evaluated. Apart from having a minor sunburn, she was found to be full-term, healthy, and in good condition.
Despite an extensive search with dogs and helicopters, authorities were unable to find any sign of the infant’s mother. “Infant Jane Doe” will be placed in foster care.
Strangely enough, Indiana made headlines not long ago when the Hoosier State began installing so-called “Baby Boxes.” Hearkening back to Medieval Europe, when parents who couldn’t care for their babies could anonymously put them in a box outside of a convent or monastery, the Indiana baby boxes are essentially the same thing, only climate-controlled and equipped with motion sensors that will call 911 when triggered. The boxes were recently installed in Woodburn and Michigan City, according to this report by the Inquisitr.
— Home Run Capital (@HomeRunCapNC) May 6, 2016
Indiana, like the other 49 states, has a law on the books that allows a mother to drop off an unwanted baby at a police station, fire station, EMS station, or hospital, no questions asked, within 40 days of the baby’s birth. The so-called “baby boxes” don’t change anything about Indiana’s laws; they just take the human interaction component out of the process.
Other states’ safe haven laws vary, according to the Baby Safe Haven website. In California, you can only drop off an unwanted baby at a hospital, and only within three days of the baby’s birth. By contrast, in Missouri, you can drop off the baby up to a year after birth.
Heidi Laub, the mother of the girl who found the baby in her back yard, holds no ill will against the mother who abandoned her baby.
“I really think everyone needs to say a prayer for this mother. She’s probably not a bad person, but probably really scared and needs help.”
Elysia, meanwhile, is being called the baby’s “Guardian Angel.” But the little girl refuses to take credit for the find, instead saying that a higher authority put her in her back yard at the right time.
“I didn’t do this myself. Somebody helped me. God. He put me in that place.”
[Image via Shutterstock/szefei]