Couple finds dead baby left on doorstep

HOUSTON It was in the alcove on the front steps of a west Harris County home that an older couple found the baby wrapped in a blue blanket. His umbilical cord tied with a shoe string. When paramedics arrived he was dead. He'd lived, if at all, less than a day.

Sgt. A. Beall with the Harris County Sheriff's Office explained, "The medical examiner's office conducted the autopsy today. They were able to give us some preliminary information on the child. At this point, we don't know if the child was born alive."

The realization of what happened is difficult for neighbors here to accept.

"I would never leave my baby on someone's doorstep, even if I couldn't take care of it myself," said neighbor Misty Baker. "I would make sure my child was safe."

Baker is a mother of six, her first born when she was 15. Still, she doesn't understand.

"It's wrong. There's so much pressure put on mothers today as it is," Baker said. "For someone to do that, it's just terrible."

What is incredible is that nobody heard or saw anything unusual.

"I'm just speechless about the whole thing," said neighbor Regina Melgarejo. "I can't imagine anybody doing something like that. I really can't."

Neighbor Randy Mellon said, "Doesn't make any sense at all around here. I haven't seen any pregnant women walking around either, so I mean, I don't know."

Now investigators say they want to find the mother, believing she needs medical attention, the kind of attention her son should have had.

Homicide investigators say they believe the house was chosen at random. They believe there's no connection between that child and the couple who found him.

In 1999 the Texas legislature passed the so-called 'Baby Moses' law, which was created to give a choice to women who were unable or unwilling to care for their newborn. The law states the child must be unharmed and fewer than 60 days old. The child should be delivered to a hospital or fire or ambulance station so the child could be accepted and placed up for adoption, no questions asked.

Anyone with information regarding the child's identity or the identity of the child's parents is asked to contact the Harris County Sheriff's Office Homicide Unit at 713-967-5810 or call Crime Stoppers at 713-222-TIPS (8477).

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