Police searched Wednesday for whoever abandoned a seemingly healthy newborn near a church north of the USC campus, leaving him in a dirty stroller, the umbilical cord still attached.
The boy was found in the area of Vermont Avenue and Dana Street shortly before 1 p.m. Tuesday following a call from a witness, said Los Angeles police Officer Drake Madison. Paramedics took the child to a hospital, where he was reported in good condition, he said.
Detectives were combing the neighborhood looking for witnesses and reviewing surveillance video.
Some residents spotted the stroller at the same location Monday night but assumed it was empty and had been discarded, ABC7 reported.
Alex Diaz, the man who first saw the stroller Monday night, ignored it, and found the baby the next day, spoke to KCAL9, explaining how he initially thought the stroller was abandoned.
“The stroller was real dirty,” he said.
But on Tuesday, he walked up to the stroller, “pulled the blanket down, and found a baby’s head. I thought he was dead. He wasn’t moving. He wasn’t making any noise at all,” Diaz said, adding that he moved the stroller to the shade of a nearby tree “and as soon as I touched him, he started moving and crying.”
The child appeared to be highly fortunate to have emerged from his abandonment in good condition, considering that he spent about 18 hours without food or anything to drink.
Madison noted that under the county’s “Safe Surrender” law, which was enacted in 2001, a parent or guardian is allowed to leave an infant who is no more than three days old at a hospital or fire station without repercussions if the baby shows no sign of abuse.
Whoever abandoned the newborn — if found — likely will face child abandonment and endangerment charges.
—City News Service