Mother charged with abuse in abandonment of toddler at church

June 12, 2007|By Nick Shields | Nick Shields,sun reporter

A woman accused of abandoning her toddler at an eastern Baltimore County church last weekend remained behind bars yesterday.

Ebony Chanel Hill, 23, of no fixed address, faces charges including child abuse after leaving her 16-month-old daughter at the doorsteps of Evangel Cathedral Church of God in the 7000 block of Rossville Blvd., police said.

A Baltimore County police officer on patrol Saturday morning decided to check the church because it had recently been burglarized, according to court records. After checking the rear of the church, the officer saw a small child asleep in a stroller, according to court papers.

The county Department of Social Services took custody of the child, later identified as Melana Morgan Reed, according to county police.

Hill would apparently not be protected by the Maryland Safe Haven Act. The law grants immunity from civil liability or criminal prosecution to a person who leaves a newborn at any Maryland hospital, clinic or police station with a responsible adult within three days of the child's birth.

County police unsuccessfully attempted to find Hill on Saturday, according to court papers. The next day, Hill turned herself in at a county police precinct on unrelated charges, according to court papers.

During an interview with police, the woman said she did not remember abandoning her child, but that "she must have abandoned the baby because she was the only one with the baby," court papers show.

Hill also faces child-endangerment and child-desertion charges, county police said.

Hill was ordered held without bail at the Baltimore County Detention Center on an unrelated charge, according to court records.

nicholas.shields@baltsun.com

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