‘Miracle’ Baby Survives 3 Days Outside In Plastic Bag: Harriette Hoyt Arrested, 8-Month-Old Daughter Is Alive

Harriette Hoyt is a 17-year-old woman who is being accused of placing her 8-month-old baby in a white plastic bag and putting the baby girl outside of a home in Elmira, New York. Hoyt lives more than 20 miles away, in Sayre, Pennsylvania. According to the Elmira Star Gazette, the fact that the baby girl survived for 72 hours in the outside elements inside a plastic bag is being called a “miracle.” The Elmira Police Department reports that Hoyt placed her baby in the plastic bag on Saturday, and the baby wasn’t discovered until three days afterward.

The baby was found when two women who were neighbors thought they heard an animal that needed help. Instead, when the women walked closer to the noise coming from a plastic bag at approximately 1 p.m. on Tuesday afternoon, August 8, they saw baby girl’s feet sticking out of the plastic bag. One of the women ripped open the plastic bag and saw that the baby girl had waste all over her, but was still alive. Kayla Seals described what she saw upon finding the baby girl, according to WENY.

“Her legs were just dangling in the bag, her head was in the bag, her whole head was covered all the way down. I tore it.”


Instead of expecting to find a baby girl, Seals thought perhaps there was a cat crying outside the home. Now the rescued baby girl has been placed in a hospital out of town. The women took the infant out of the plastic bag and contacted authorities as they cleaned the baby.

Harriette was charged with attempted second-degree murder in the wake of the finding, and Hoyt is currently being held in the Chemung County Jail. Meanwhile, the baby is expected to fully recover from the ordeal of being placed outside and abandoned by her mother. The baby was found nearby bushes in the backyard of a home in the 600 block of Walnut Street.


Authorities are crediting the quick thinking of the neighbors in getting in touch with emergency personnel as part of the reason the baby survived. The women are being called heroes for getting the baby girl out of the bag and inside and safe, cleaning her as they got in touch with EMTs. The baby was reported to be in stable condition. Hoyt should appear in court on Monday and could get as many as 25 years in prison.

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[Featured Image by Elmira Police/AP Images]