Authorities seek details on abandoned newborn

Infant found in bathroom at county health department

CHESTERFIELD COUNTY, S.C. — WSOC-TV and MyFox8 are reporting that authorities seek more information about an abandoned female infant found Tuesday in a bathroom stall of the Chesterfield County Health Department.

Photo courtesy WSOC-TV Police seek more information on an abandoned female infant found Tuesday in Chesterfield County, S.C.

Photo courtesy WSOC-TV
Police seek more information on an abandoned female infant found Tuesday in Chesterfield County, S.C.

According to multiple media reports, the child — estimated two or three days old on Tuesday — seemed to be born somewhere other than at a medical facility “due to the condition of the belly button and lack of a heel stick test.”

“We have been searching for the baby girl’s mother, father or someone who may have information about this child,” said Eric R. Hewett, Chesterfield Chief of Police.  “While this does not appear to qualify under Daniel’s Law for lawful surrender of the baby, we do want to find the child’s parents or anyone who has knowledge about this little girl.  I encourage anyone who has information about this matter to contact us at 843-623-2419.”

Daniel’s Law is officially known as the Save Haven for Babies Act. According to Children’s Trust of South Carolina, the law provides immunity from prosecution to a person who abandons a newborn at an identified safe haven, such as a hospital, hospital outpatient facility, law enforcement agencies, fire stations, emergency medical service stations or houses of worship during the time the church or synagogue is staffed.

If the child has been harmed in some way, the immunity from prosecution may not apply. The law applies to infants up to 30 days old.

In addition:

  • The person leaving the child does not have to reveal his or her identity.
  • The person leaving the child will be asked to provide medical information about the baby’s parents, and if possible, the name of the baby’s parents. This will help the medical personnel treat the baby for any health problems.
  • The hospital will provide medical care and contact South Carolina Department of Social Services (DSS). DSS will have legal custody of the child and will place the child in a foster home.
  • DSS will immediately pursue family court action to free the child for adoption.
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