US

16-Year-Old Girl Identified as Mother of Abandoned Newborn Baby Found on Top of Trash Can

By Zachary Stieber

A 16-year-old girl has been identified as the mother of a newborn baby who was found abandoned on top of a trash can in Chicago on May 7.

The girl was being questioned by the Chicago Police Department as was the baby’s father, spokesman Anthony Guglielmi said in a statement on Thursday morning.

A woman and her daughter noticed the baby boy, who had been born just hours prior, on top of a trash can in the Humboldt Park neighborhood and rushed him to a firehouse where paramedics jumped into action.

The infant was rushed to the hospital, where he’s since been upgraded from critical condition to stable.

Chicago police have not disclosed the names of the mother, father, or baby.

Relatives of Marlen Ochoa, a missing pregnant woman who was due to give birth this week, thought that she might be the baby’s mother. They asked police to conduct a DNA test on the baby.

“The baby that was found yesterday, there’s a possibility it’s my daughter’s,” Ochoa’s mother told CBS Chicago. “I pray to God it is.”

Rev. Walter Coleman, the family’s pastor, said that the family hopes that the DNA test will provide answers. They think Ochoa was kidnapped.

“We praise God that, no matter whose baby it is, that this baby turned out through the efforts of the fire department to be alive. That’s a blessing from the Lord,” Coleman said.

“We hope that it is the baby, but we’re also worried that my wife won’t appear,” added Ochoa’s husband Giovanni Lopez. “We’re desperate, we’re sad; in hopes that the baby they found is my wife’s.”

The baby still had his umbilical cord attached when he was found, Chicago Fire Dept. Field Chief Patrick Fitzmaurice said at a news conference, according to the Chicago Sun-Times.

“This poor kid was minutes away from having no chance at all,” Fitzmaurice said. “The baby was cold as concrete. I wasn’t ready to lose this one, and neither were the” emergency personnel.

Larry Langford, a spokesman for the Chicago Fire Department, said that the baby only had a pulse at the hospital because of the machines keeping him alive.

“All the people who were around in the ER were saying. ‘Come on kid, come on kid, come on little boy.’ They were all pulling for him,” Langford said, reported the Chicago Tribune. “They were all just rooting for this little kid.”

While some prayed, others made the sign of the cross.

“The whole room lined up on a semicircle watching the bed,” said paramedic field chief Pat Fitzmaurice, who was with the baby from the firehouse to the hospital. “Like they were watching a boxing match. You kept hearing, ‘Come on kid, fight back.'”

Suddenly, the baby’s blood-oxygen level started rising and he started to breathe on his own. The body began to grow pink.

Dawn Geras, who led the state to pass the “Safe Haven law” in 2001, told the Sun-Times that the baby was the first to be illegally abandoned in Illinois this year. Eighty-two have been illegally abandoned since 2001.

The law lets parents or others drop off infants 30 days or younger with a staff member at a hospital, fire or police station. No questions are asked.

Geras said that 131 babies have been saved since the law was passed.

“Typically, after something like this happens, there is a bump in babies legally relinquished,” Geras said. “Thing is, because the law promises anonymity to the parent, those happy stories don’t make the news.”