UPDATE: The parents of a newborn baby girl found next to a Dumpster in north Colorado Springs Wednesday afternoon have been located, according to Colorado Springs police.
Barbara Miller, a police spokeswoman, said the parents were located Wednesday night. Police continue to investigate the case and have not yet made any arrests, she said.
A newborn girl was found alive Wednesday afternoon next to a Dumpster in north Colorado Springs, according to Colorado Springs police.
The infant was rushed to the hospital by ambulance, according to police. She was in stable condition Wednesday afternoon, said Lt. Howard Black, who heads the special victims’ unit for the Colorado Springs Police Department.
The baby was found about 1:30 p.m. near a Dumpster at the Rosemont at Shadow Mountain apartment complex near the intersection of Austin Bluffs Parkway and North Nevada Avenue. The gated complex is just west of the University of Colorado at Colorado Springs.
Nate Blanchette’s apartment has a clear view of where the baby was found, but he said he did not see anyone leave a baby there. He said his friend was there when two women discovered the baby and started screaming, he said.
The tiny baby girl still had her newly-cut umbilical cord and was wrapped in an adult’s hospital gown, he said. She was awake and alert, he said.
He said the complex is a safe place and kids, including his own, are always playing around.
“I can’t believe this happened this close to home,” he said. “I’ve heard of stuff like this happening on the news but not this close.”
He's shocked that someone would leave a baby there.
"I hope they find whoever did it," he said. "That's a pretty disgusting thing to do."
Jennifer Brown, spokeswoman for the El Paso County Department of Human Services, said she did not know specifics about Wednesday’s case but generally abandoned babies are placed in DHS custody. The baby likely will go into foster care when she’s released from the hospital.
Black said police continue to interview witnesses and are checking with local hospitals and clinics to try to identify the baby and figure out who left her at the complex. There was some discrepancy from witnesses about exactly where the baby was found, he said.
He said relatives of the baby could have taken advantage of Colorado’s Safe Haven Law, which allows a parent to hand over a baby less than 72 hours old to an employee at a hospital or fire station with no questions asked.
The Colorado law was passed in 2000 and since then there have been 36 known cases where a baby was safely relinquished, said Linda Prudhomme, executive director of Colorado Safe Haven for Newborns, a non-profit that works to get the word out about the law.
The state does not keep statistics on exactly how many newborns are abandoned, but her organization believes that for every one turned over safely, another one is found dead. Also, for each one that is found, it’s assumed that there’s another baby who was not found, she said.
“What our organization does is just to create awareness about the law. Most women don’t know about it,” she said. “The law works very well as long as that mother in crisis knows she has that option.”