Two newborn babies were found abandoned near a dumpster behind a California shopping plaza on Tuesday afternoon — and one of the infants has died.
According to KCRA-TV, the infants were found in Fairfield, northeast of San Francisco, around 4:15 p.m. on Tuesday. Police say that the owner of a nearby business called 911 after seeing a woman in distress.
The business owner told the 911 operator that “two infants were with (the woman) and appeared to have been recently birthed on the sidewalk behind the businesses,” Lieutenant Jausiah Jacobsen told KCRA.
When police arrived at the scene, they found the newborns near a dumpster. The woman, who is believed to be the mother, was not at the scene.
According to a press release from the Fairfield Police Department, the responding officers’ first priority was stabilizing the infants.
“The first officer who arrived immediately started life saving efforts on one of the newborns and turned care over to fire department personnel,” the statement says. “This infant was transported to a local hospital and is reported to be in stable condition at this time. Unfortunately, the other newborn was determined to have died prior to the officer’s arrival.”
Authorities then canvassed the area, looking for the mother.
“Officers searched the surrounding area and found a female nearby on Central Place,” the statement continues. “Based on the officers’ observations, it appears the female had recently given birth. The mother has been detained and taken to a local hospital for treatment.”
It is unclear what charges, if any, the woman could face. The investigation is ongoing.
Under California state law, a parent can safely surrender a newborn at a firehouse or hospital emergency room within 72 hours of the birth. As long as the baby shows no signs of abuse or neglect, the parent will not face any sort of prosecution.
For further information about safe surrender sites and locations, Californians can call 1-877-222-9723.