Arrest made for baby in dumpster

By Betty Simpson |, Alex Davis |, Matt Porter |

Published 09/01 2014 10:09PM

Updated 09/08 2014 12:02PM

Latest: 9:43 am, 9/5/14, Friday
JACKSONVILLE -- Police arrested a 17-year old woman for child abandonment. The arrest is the result of an investigation into a newborn found in a dumpster in the 300-block of Lafayette, Saturday, August 30, about 8 am. The infant was taken to the hospital where it was treated. The baby is now in the custody of DCFS. No other information about the woman has been released.
Update: 5:02 pm, 9/3/14, Wednesday
JACKSONVILLE -- A newborn found in a dumpster is doing fine. The baby was released from the hospital Tuesday and is now in DCFS custody. Police say the child was found within 150 yards of their department. They say the baby was left in the trash, just hours after its birth. There could be child abandonment charges against the person who left the infant.
Original: 10:09 pm, 9/1/14, Monday
JACKSONVILLE -- Police are looking for the parents of an abandoned baby after it was discovered in a dumpster. Authorities say a person taking out garbage discovered the bundle of joy amidst bundles of trash early Saturday morning.

"It is very disappointing somebody has that less of an amount of regard for human life they would leave it in a dumpster,” said Jacksonville Police Lieutenant Eric Hansell.

The baby has been taken to a local hospital where it is in good condition according to Hansell. The worst part, he said, is whoever dumped the infant, could have taken the baby to the police station a few hundred feet away.

"They can turn it over anonymously, no questions asked,” Hansell said. “They can walk away from the police department, fire department, substation whatever. Nobody will follow them or conduct any kind of investigation.”

The Safe Haven Law requires police and fire departments, along with hospitals, to accept newborn infants no question asked. Babies turned over will go to a foster home under the Department of Children and Family Services and eventually be put up for adoption.

Hansell said around 90 children in Illinois have been turned over since the Safe Haven Law was passed in 2001. With the baby safe, the investigation turns to locating the parents who may be in distress.

“Maybe they had some hardships,” Hansell said. “[We will] try to get them some help, maybe some family counseling or something like that."

Area parents could hardly wrap their head around why a parent would throw away a child in the same way they would a dirty diaper.

"I don't understand how somebody can just throw away their child,” said parent Chris Thomas. “You still have options to go to the municipal building or even the hospital to give it up."

Thomas defined it simply.

"Tragedy, that's it,” he said, “tragedy."

Authorities say their largest concern is to talk with the parents and determine the health of the mother before pursuing any criminal charges. They are not releasing the gender or race of the baby to avoid false tips.

Anyone with information is asked to call the Jacksonville Police Department.
(217) 479 - 4630

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