SAVANNAH, Ga. – A church musician attending a late-night rehearsal found a squirming bundle left outside the Savannah church was a newborn baby, wrapped in a bloody towel with its umbilical cord still attached.
Savannah-Chatham County police say the baby appeared to have been born just three hours before someone abandoned her at New Vision Baptist Church. Investigators are still trying to locate the newborn's mother today.
John Anderson Jr., who found the baby girl, said he first thought she was a doll. Then the tiny figure began moving, and Anderson noticed its hair was wet.
Anderson found the baby just before 10 p.m. Monday.
Sgt. Mike Wilson, a Savannah police spokesman, says paramedics took the newborn to Memorial Health University Medical Center, where she remained in good condition today and is eating and breathing on her own.
The baby, which officials are calling Jane Doe, will be turned over to the Department of Family and Children Services after being released from the hospital.
Child abandonment is a misdemeanor in Georgia, punishable by up to a year in prison and fines up to $1,000.
However, a state law allows mothers to leave unwanted newborns with employees at hospitals or medical centers without facing legal consequences. Georgia DFACS spokeswoman Beverly Jones said 380 babies have been legally abandoned statewide since the law was passed in 2002. That includes 14 children left at hospitals the first nine months of this year.