SEYMOUR, Ind. (WDRB) -- Police say an infant was just a few hours old when she was found abandoned outside in a plastic bag in Seymour on Tuesday evening.
Indiana State Police in Seymour are actively investigating the case. According to police, there are no leads yet on who the mother is, but a man did stop by the police station Tuesday, saying something about a baby. Police say they aren't sure if he has any information about this case or not, but they planned to talk with him again Wednesday.
“Other than him originally coming in yesterday and reporting something with a baby, we don’t know a whole lot as there was a language barrier with the individual when he came in," said Det. Sgt. C.J. Foster of the Seymour Police Department.
Investigators say they aren't sure how long the infant was left outside, but based on what medical staff tell them, she was born just hours before being abandoned on South Jackson Park Drive.
Police say someone walking their dog found the baby just before 4 p.m.
"Evidently, the animal was kind of pulling toward the area where the baby was located, almost like directing its owner that way," Foster said. "The owner discovered there was some movement inside the bag, picked the bag up, and there was a child inside the bag."
Police said the baby had been wrapped up in a towel and placed in the plastic bag next to a fence. Police said the infant has undergone a medical exam and appears healthy.
The area where the baby was located is just a few miles from a Safe Haven baby box at the Seymour Fire Department where parents can surrender a newborn anonymously without facing any charges.
Where the baby was found is just about a mile from one of Indiana’s Safe Haven Baby Boxes. This one was just installed at Seymour’s #3 fire station over the summer. @WDRBNews pic.twitter.com/rQwwacIQ2D— Darby Beane (@DarbyBeane) October 16, 2019
"This is a sad situation, but I hope that the word does get out about the Safe Haven baby box," Foster said. "Ultimately, if a mother were to decide to take that route, we obviously want them to use something like that."
Those with Safe Haven say there are 13 baby boxes throughout Indiana, and they're hoping to educate communities about safe haven laws and let them know these boxes are available. There are also baby boxes in Ohio and Arkansas.
"We have had seven surrenders in Indiana this year," said Chanel Cunningham, director of programs and administration with Safe Haven Baby Boxes, Inc.
Cunningham said she was shocked to find out a baby was abandoned outside in a town that has access to a Safe Haven box.
"We cannot really determine the circumstances until someone is able to come forward, but we just want the community to know that this is available, and we clearly have some more work to do to raise the awareness in this community," she said.
The most recent surrender in an Indiana Safe Haven Baby Box was in September.
Police are asking anyone who knows the identity of the mother to come forward. Although she could face charges, authorities say their main concern is to make sure she gets medical attention.
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