crimesider

Abandoned Newborn Found at S.C. Arena, Condition Improves, Mother Sought

Bi-Lo Arena in Greenville, South Carolina, Friday, Feb. 4, 2011 (WSPA)
(CBS/WSPA/AP) A newborn 6 lb. baby boy found abandoned in a toilet at a Greenville, South Carolina arena Friday night has been upgraded to stable condition, while at least five investigators are "working around the clock" to find the mother, authorities say.

"The community wants to know," says Sgt. Jason Rampey. Rampey says the team is going over surveillance video, which he admits, will be difficult. "Just the sheer number of people that were there will make it tough," Rampey told CBS affiliate WSPA.

The infant was discovered by maintenance workers who were there to clean up after a circus performance at the Bi-Lo Center. One of the workers heard the baby whimpering, and then found it in the toilet, reported WSPA. It appears the infant was about an hour and a half old. "We don't think it's physically possible that the mother would not know she had given birth to this child," says Rampey. "So we certainly think this child was abandoned purposely." He also adds the child was "full term."

The newborn was at Greenville Memorial Hospital Tuesday in stable condition, suffering from hypothermia and other medical conditions. Once released, he will be turned over to the Department of Social Services, WSPA reported.

The station reports that Daniel's Law, established in South Carolina in 2000, allows mothers to give up their newborns, if they take them to a designated "safe haven." Such places include a hospital, police department, fire station, or church, if the church is staffed at the time of abandonment. As long as the child is unharmed, the law protects the mother from prosecution under those circumstances.

Meanwhile, Rampey says the police department has been flooded with phone calls from people interested in adopting or helping the child. "The biggest help people can be at this point is to help us identify this mother," he says.

Anyone with information on the case is asked to call the Greenville Police Department, or Crimestoppers at 23-CRIME.

  • Barry Leibowitz

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