Baby boy found abandoned under park bench in city

Infant in foster care, in good condition

police seek parents

November 25, 1999|By Peter Hermann | Peter Hermann,SUN STAFF

Baltimore police are searching for the parents or guardians of an infant who was discovered crying and abandoned under a park bench in West Baltimore in a steady drizzle Tuesday night.

Doctors at University of Maryland Medical Center estimate the boy is between 10 and 12 months old. The infant was determined to be in good health after a checkup at the hospital and was handed over to city social workers.

"He seems to be well cared for and nourished," said Sue Fitzsimmons, a spokeswoman for the Department of Social Services. "We don't want children left alone in unsafe circumstances. We're hoping that people can recognize the child by the clothing."

City police said a woman heard the baby crying about 11: 30 p.m. as she walked through a small park in the 2600 block of Woodbrook Ave. She looked under a park bench and saw the infant covered with leaves.

He is described as black, with a full head of hair. He was wearing diapers and a black, white and red one-piece pajama suit with a black and white picture of a dog on the front.

Fitzsimmons said the infant has been placed in foster care, and if not identified by Monday, the city will petition a judge to move him into "shelter care," which allows them to give him more extensive medical attention.

She also said the office will ask a judge permission to publicize the baby's photo in hopes of learning his name or finding the mother.

Three children have been abandoned in Baltimore in the past three years. In March last year, a Sinai Hospital employee found a baby alone in a stroller near the medical institution. The mother was found two days later; she was not charged.

In December 1996, a 3-year-old was found wandering around Sinai Hospital with a note in his pocket that said: "Please take me to my daddy. Something is wrong with my mommy. I need help."

Also in 1996, a newborn baby was found behind a West Baltimore gas station. Officials were unable to say yesterday whether the parents of either of those children were found.

Police said they have handed out photos in the neighborhoods surrounding the park for the baby left there but have not found anyone who knows the child.

Authorities could not determine whether someone had left the child with the hopes it would be found quickly. The park is not well traveled after dark, police said, but they are not sure whether the child was intentionally covered with the leaves. Though it was raining slightly Tuesday night, the temperature was 59 degrees, well above normal for November.

Anyone with information is urged to call the Baltimore Department of Social Services at 410-361-2235.

Pub Date: 11/25/99

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