Residents of the Woodside Houses were in shock at what was left outside their complex.
“I couldn’t believe someone would do that,” said a resident, who is a mother of five. “Why wouldn’t she just take it to the hospital?”
The newborn baby girl is safe after being found abandoned outside the Woodside Houses on Sunday, August 19.
A police spokesperson said a woman called 9-1-1 around 11:27 p.m., saying she heard crying and saw a baby lying in the grass outside the housing project, located at 50-51 Broadway. Officials found the child wrapped in a blood-soaked bed sheet with the umbilical cord still attached. The baby was taken by police to Elmhurst Hospital where she is said to be in stable condition. The spokesperson did not know whether or not the caller was a resident of the complex.
According to a spokesperson from the Woodside Houses, the baby is of Asian descent.
Most residents said they had not heard about the incident until they saw the story on television.
According to New York State law, parents may leave unwanted babies at a police precinct, fire station or hospital without fear of prosecution under Safe-Haven laws. Mothers have up to 30 days after the child is born to take it to a proper location or give the baby to a person who will then be responsible for taking the child to a proper safe-haven location.
Timothy Jaccard, president and director of the New York State Children of Hope Safe Haven Program, believes the mother of the little girl wanted to legally relinquish the baby because she left the child in a location where she could be easily found. He claimed she most likely attempted to properly abandon the child but feared she would be identified.
Jaccard also believes the woman made several calls to his organization’s hotline, adding that he recalled the woman being unable to speak English.
Jaccard said an individual’s economic situations can lead him or her to feel unable to support a child, causing panic and possible abandonment. Abandoned babies, according to Jaccard, are most frequently left in doorways. Exceptionally young mothers frequently stash newborns in closets or under their bed, mirroring the child-like behavior of hiding something from a parent.
Police are now searching for the parents of the abandoned baby.