BALTIMORE (WJZ)—Police have combed through mounds of trash and their investigation is continuing after a 911 caller said a mother dumped her newborn in West Baltimore.
Mike Hellgren has been following the search throughout the day.
Police found nothing after an exhaustive search that started just before 9 a.m. Wednesday. But they say they have no reason to believe that the call was a hoax.
More than a dozen people combed through trash as high as four feet, dumped in the middle of N. Carrollton Avenue in West Baltimore–a block from Lafayette Square.
The unusual scene drew curious stares as the police chopper whirred overhead and a backhoe moved the mounds of waste–the contents of several trash trucks.
Police and Public Works employees were searching for a baby an anonymous 911 caller reported was dumped nearby.
“They had a call about a baby wrapped in a bloody blanket or something,” said Jeanae Paul, grandmother who lives near search site.
An ambulance waited as detectives questioned mothers of newborns in the area. Some say they even asked them to show their infants.
Shantera Johnson says police told her that a young mother gave birth in the alley and didn’t know what to do.
“They thought it was me that threw my baby in the trash can,” Johnson said. “That’s sad if somebody did throw their baby away. They could have dropped it off at a church, a hospital, somebody’s door.”
Maryland has what’s called a safe haven law, where any mother can leave her newborn–10 days old or younger–at any hospital or police station without fear of prosecution.
Detectives found nothing after four hours. They wrapped up the scene and brought in the street sweepers.
But the case is not closed.
“This is still an ongoing investigation, and our investigators are asking anyone with information in reference to this incident to contact them,” said Det. Brandon Echevarria, Baltimore City Police. “Our detectives are going to look into any possible leads.”
Police say no tip is too small.
The Maryland Baby Safe Haven Law was passed in 2002 and is aimed at saving the lives of newborns. All a mother has to do is say “This is a safe haven baby” when dropping off the newborn.
Baltimore County’s aviation unit assisted the city’s chopper, along with a number of Public Works employees who searched through the trash.
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