Baby abandoned behind gas station Hours-old boy found in blanket on wet grass

his condition is stable

July 30, 1996|By Peter Hermann | Peter Hermann,SUN STAFF

Baltimore police were scouring hospitals and neighborhoods yesterday looking for a woman who delivered a baby boy and then abandoned him behind a gas station on West Northern Parkway.

A customer heard the infant crying and found the baby wrapped in a blanket, lying in wet grass. Medical officials said the umbilical had been cut, but not tied, and the baby was cold and had lost a considerable amount of blood.

But the medical staff at Sinai Hospital reported yesterday afternoon that the baby was in stable condition and could be released in a few days. His body temperature had risen from 95 degrees to a normal 98.6 by midafternoon.

"It was very fortunate that the baby was found quickly," said Dr. Lee Marban, the medical director of Sinai's neonatal intensive care unit, where the infant was resting comfortably in a baby-warmer.

The infant has yet to be named, but a Sinai staff member bought the infant a teddy bear from the gift shop. The baby slept quietly in a blue sleeper as a nurse took his temperature.

City police said the infant was found about 8: 15 a.m. by a customer pumping gas at a Crown Station in the 4500 block of W. Northern Parkway. Police said a white woman in her 20s was seen walking away from the station about the time the infant was found.

But hospital officials said they believed the infant was either African-American or of mixed race. The baby's skin was pale -- partly from the loss of blood, officials said -- making it difficult to tell.

Marban said that when the infant arrived at the hospital, he was cold and damp from the rain. She said the baby had been born only hours earlier, but was a "full-term healthy baby boy" who weighed 7 pounds, 12 ounces.

The baby's red blood-cell count was low, but Marban said doctors found no immediate signs that his mother had abused drugs. Further tests were expected to be performed today. She urged the mother to come forward "so we can find a solution that is best for the baby and the family."

Beth Huber, a Sinai social worker, said the infant will be placed in foster care when he is released from the hospital, unless the mother is located or other family members come forward. Then a decision on placement will be made by the city Department of Social Services.

Police said the mother, if found, could face child abandonment and child abuse charges. Anyone with information is urged to call the child abuse unit at 396-2078.

Pub Date: 7/30/96

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