Connecticut police are investigating after a premature baby estimated to be born at only 28 to 30 weeks was abandoned on the hood of a car in the town of Mansfield. Miraculously, a woman found the child, and the baby is now listed in stable condition at a hospital.
Police say they got a 911 call on the afternoon of March 23 from the woman who saw a man leaving the newborn wrapped in a towel on her vehicle. According to WTNH, the baby only weighed about two pounds.
“The female reported as she returned to her vehicle, the male got into a dark-colored vehicle and fled the area,” Connecticut State Police said in a news release. “The infant was transported to an area hospital for treatment and later determined to be a 28-30 week old premature newborn.”
Like other states, Connecticut has a Safe Haven Law for parents who believe that they are unable to care for their child for any reason. Parents in the state can bring their newborn to any hospital emergency room during the first 30 days after birth and surrender the child without fear of prosecution. According to a 2020 report, more than 4,000 babies have been legally surrendered nationwide since the first safe haven laws took effect in 1999.
“A parent can bring a newborn, if they don’t want the baby of course, 30 days and under to any emergency department in the state,” Dr. John Brancato with Connecticut Children’s explained to WTNH. “There’s no risk of prosecution, we don’t require names of course, this is meant to allow an anonymous process.” Dr. Brancato did specify, however, that the baby has to be healthy. “If it appears that the baby has been abused, that’s a different story and then prosecution is absolutely in the cards,” he said.
Police say they are searching for the man responsible for abandoning the child, describing him as a heavy-set Hispanic man with short black hair dressed in black clothes. Anyone who has information on the man’s identity, whereabouts, or vehicle is asked to contact Det. Matthew Hogan at 860-896-3236.
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