A newborn baby was left on the doorstep of an Orlando apartment, with a heartbreaking note: “His dad tried to kill us.”
As Yahoo News reports, Graciela Izaguirre, a resident of the Willow Key Apartments complex, was inside her home having breakfast with her son on Saturdaday morning when she heard a baby’s cries. She went outside and saw a 1-day-old baby.
At first, she says, she thought it was a joke.
“He was wrapped up in a T-shirt, like a polo shirt, and he was just on the floor crying. Nobody was around,” she said.
Then, she says, she realized to her horror that it wasn’t a joke, when she read the note attached to the baby.
“I had him in the bathroom. His dad tried to kill us. Please keep him secret and take him to hospital. Dad a very dangerous man. I’m so sorry, I tried to clean him and feed him as much as I [could].”
The baby was left at the doorstep of neighbor Clive Petgrave, according to The Orlando Sentinel. Petgrave didn’t realize anything was amiss until he heard the police pounding on his door. They wanted to know if he knew of anyone who was pregnant.
Woman abandons baby on doorsteps of Clive Petgrave, who lives at Willow Key Apts. Orlando Police, mother should NOT be charged for not leaving baby at hospital or fire station. They were in danger; she saved baby’s life @aphospital @OrlandoPolice https://t.co/YDXUwFXxAF
— Destiny (@LatinParis) July 25, 2019
The infant boy was taken to a nearby hospital, where he was deemed to be in good condition, all things considered. He is now in the care of Florida’s Department of Children and Families. Meanwhile, an Orlando Police spokesperson says that this is being treated as a criminal investigation. What that means remains unclear; for example, it’s not known if police intend to track down the mother in order to try to charge her with a crime, nor is it clear if police intend to try to locate the baby’s father.
Florida is one of several states with so-called “Safe Haven” laws. According to the Safe Haven Society, the details vary by state, but the general idea is the same: a baby can be dropped off, no questions asked, at a hospital, fire station, police station, or similar places. In Florida, the law allows for a baby to be dropped off within seven days of birth.
Unfortunately, not every mother of a newborn knows this, or, in their fear and in the heat of the moment, they choose not to make use of the law. Every year, newborn infants turn up in trash cans, public restrooms, and other places.