A newborn still attached to his umbilical cord and left alone in a stroller near a church in South Los Angeles was in good condition Wednesday morning at a hospital.
The child was left alone near the intersection of Vermont Avenue and Dana Street for more than a day, police said. The baby was ill and dehydrated after arriving at the Diginity Health California Hospital with a low sugar level, said Dr. Marc Futernick.
"All of those things were quickly corrected by the medical team, and the baby is doing well," said Futernick. "It's certainly lucky, in the sense that the baby was found in time. But the baby was in a very dangerous situation.
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"One of the things that we want to stress is that there's a better way to handle this kind of a situation if a mother doesn't feel that she wants to keep her baby."
California's Safe Surrender law allows someone to confidentially surrender a baby, without fear of prosecution, within 72 hours of birth. From January 2001 to January 2015, 685 newborns wree surrendered in California with 73 surrenders in 2014, according to the Department of Social Services.
"You can just drop the baby off at any fire station or hospital 24-7 and they will take care of the baby," Futernick said. "It would be ideal to give a little bit of information about the pregnancy and any medical information there may be about the baby."
On Monday night, a homeless man noticed what he initially thought was an empty stroller. The man told police he returned Monday and saw the same stroller. He lifted the blanket and found the newborn, police said.
"Something in me told me to check in it. I moved the blanket and there he was, a newborn baby boy," Alex Diaz said. "He seemed weak, like he couldn't even move no more."
Authorities are asking for the public's help to identify the mother of the boy, who may be just days old. They are also actively searching within the community for anyone who might have seen something that could lead to the child's identification.
Capt. Sean Parker said the LAPD is "looking at surveillance and we are knocking on doors to see if someone might have seen something." Parker also said he wanted the mother to come forward so authorities can "see if she's OK."