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Firefighter Who Found Baby Boy Dead Outside Near North Side Firehouse Joins In Somber Prayer Vigil

CHICAGO (CBS) -- A Chicago firefighter spoke at a prayer vigil Thursday night, just days after he found a newborn baby dead outside his fire station on the city's Near North Side.

The baby boy was left in a duffel bag on a bitterly cold Saturday morning with single-digit vigils. At a prayer vigil Thursday night, CBS 2's Jackie Kostek spoke with the firefighter who found his body.

The firefighter who found the body read scripture at the vigil. He did not go on camera when he spoke with Kostek, but he did say the baby appeared fully developed.

"To do nothing would leave us so empty and so abandoned ourselves," said the Rev. Reverend Larry Lisowski of Immaculate Conception of St. Joseph Parish.

Just days after a newborn baby boy was left just outside the firehouse at Orleans and Hill streets and ultimately died, neighbors are coming together to do something.

"Even if this boy took one breath - if he lived for five minutes - his life still has purpose, and it has meaning and it's very worthwhile," said Susan Walker Schulenberg of the nonprofit Rest In His Arms.

So while Chicago Police and the Cook County Medical Examiner's office continue to investigate, the community came together in prayer - words spoken, candles lit, hope lifted.

"It's very emotional, but it's also a sense of comfort that we don't do it alone," Schulenberg said.

For the past 17 years, Schulenberg has done what she calls desperately sad, but important work - providing funeral and burial services for more than 50 abandoned babies.

She also speaks about the Safe Haven law, which allows families to relinquish their infants anonymously and with legal protection. But the act requires the person to physically hand off the child to staff at the Safe Haven location.

The Chicago Fire Department said on Saturday, that didn't happen.

"If they would have just put the baby in the arms of staff, the little boy would be here today - and he would be with a family would love him, and want him, and cherish him," Schulenberg said.

When the autopsy and investigation are complete, Schulenberg hopes to give the baby boy one last act of dignity and respect. That includes giving the infant a name.

Schulenberg says one name has already been floated.

"Evangelos - meaning a good messenger," Schulenberg said. "His thought was having that as part of this child's name shows the message of the Safe Haven Law, and that maybe by this tragedy, some good could come of it if people really understand how the law works and are able to use it."

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