Newborn baby discovered lying on road in near-freezing temperatures

Nellie Chapman
February 13, 2019

A California Highway Patrol officer holds a newborn baby who was found on a road. The infant was then hospitalized and is OK, the CHP said.

Fuentes, 21, initially thought the newborn was an animal, or perhaps a toy.

A newborn baby girl with her umbilical cord still attached was found at about 4:30 a.m. this morning, abandoned in the middle of Avenue 13 1/2. The infant was just hours old and wearing soiled clothing in temperatures skirting 30°F, according to the California Highway Patrol Central Division.

"I approached slowly. Next thing you know I see it's red, you can see the face". But "as soon as I got out of the auto, I realized it was a real baby", he said.

He immediately took the newborn to his vehicle to keep her warm and called the emergency services.

It is believed the newspaper carrier arrived a few minutes later to discover the dumped baby on the road.

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"The baby appeared to have been born during the night and is now being treated by the Valley Children's neonatal intensive care unit", said Pogue. Authorities are now investigating the identity and whereabouts of the mother.

The woman was described as a "Hispanic female adult, possibly in her 20s". She is said to be in good condition.

"The baby was cold, but luckily she was discovered early enough that she'll make a full recovery", Madera County Sheriff Office undersheriff Tyson Pogue said.

She was said to have been driving a white SUV but details of her physical description are "unknown".

Pogue had instructed the woman to go to a fire station or to nearby Valley Children's Hospital to surrender the child safely, but that did not happen.

California's Safely Surrendered Baby Law allows parents or persons with lawful custody to safely surrender an infant within 72 hours of birth, with no questions asked, at designated safe drop-off sites.

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