Newborn baby abandoned in dryer

March 17, 2009 9:10:30 PM PDT
Houston police are looking for the person who abandoned a newborn baby girl in an old clothes dryer at an apartment complex in Southwest Houston. [SIGN UP: Get headlines and breaking news sent to you]

CPS said the baby is African-American girl, weighing 6 pounds, 12 ounces and measuring 20 inches long. She is described as healthy and is at Texas Children's Hospital. Hospital workers are calling her "Mia."

The black plastic bag the newborn baby girl was in was still in the clothes dryer when emergency crews arrived at the Registry Apartment Complex at 6110 Winsome Lane. Her umbilical cord was still attached. Houston police said she had been washed. She was alive.

"A blessing, no other words can describe it, a blessing," said resident Robert Elder.

It was just before 3pm Tuesday afternoon when a resident, throwing out his trash at the dumpster, heard the baby crying nearby. Police said the baby had been placed inside the bag and inside the old dryer. The door was ajar. The man called for help and his roommate called 911. Investigators think she had been in the dryer for about an hour.

"I think probably had it been another hour, she would not have lived through this," said Sgt. Colin Howard, HPD Homicide Division.

Soon a crime scene investigator was dusting for fingerprints and bloodhounds from the Fort Bend County Sheriff's Office were trying to track a scent in search of the mother. They were not successful. From the second floor, curious neighbors watched the activities below, and mothers, fathers and grandparents watched in disbelief.

"There are a lot of people who want a baby. She could have given it to someone," said Blanca Olvera as she held her 2-month-old grandson.

Or protected by the Baby Moses Law, the mother could have left the baby at a fire station - there is one nearby - a police station, or a hospital.

"Anywhere but this so that the baby can get immediate care," said Sgt. Howard.

There is still so much of the mother's story police don't know. It's just one reason it's imperative, they said, they find her.

"I'm really concerned about her health, her well-being," said Sgt Howard, "She just delivered a baby."

Because the baby was cleaned before she was put in the plastic bag, investigators think it's clear the mother had some feelings for her daughter. They are still looking for her.

A court hearing is scheduled for Wednesday morning during which CPS will ask a judge to place the baby in foster care.

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