A woman walking her dog found an hours-old, newborn girl carefully wrapped in blankets lying abandoned on a basketball court in the Dundalk area, police said.
The infant had been left in a knapsack at the outdoor basketball court of Patapsco High School, said Sgt. Stephen R. Doarnberger, a Baltimore County police spokesman.
"We're estimating that the baby was only hours old," Sergeant Doarnberger said. "The umbilical cord was still attached."
A 20-year-old woman who lives near the high school, in the 8100 block of Wise Ave., was out walking her dog at 6:20 p.m. when she saw a purple knapsack on the ground, police said. It was raining heavily at the time.
"On a normal day, when it wasn't raining, that court would be very crowded," Sergeant Doarnberger said. "It could have been that the mother left the child there thinking that someone would have seen the child right away."
The woman walking her dog went over to investigate, after seeing the knapsack move and found the infant, apparently healthy, inside. She called police, and officers transported the baby girl to Francis Scott Key Medical Center for an examination.
The child suffered some body temperature loss because of the rainy weather, but seemed to be recovering last night, police said.
Her condition was listed as guarded, police said.
Medical officials reported the baby to be a white female weighing 5 pounds 15 ounces. She appeared to have been born after a full-term pregnancy, they said.
Police canvassed nearby neighborhoods, trying to find clues to the mother's identity.
They also contacted area hospitals in the event the mother might have checked in, seeking medical treatment.
"Our immediate concern is finding the mother," Sergeant Doarnberger said. "This is a criminal investigation, but we have concerns about her health as well."
He said that the Department of Social Services would make arrangements for the care of the child.
A social services case worker was expected to make contact with hospital officials last night.
Typically, the child would be placed in a foster home, pending identification of her mother, police said.
Anyone with any information about the child or who may know the mother's identity is asked to call police at 887-7320.