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Baby Abandoned Outside Building

Crime: Police are searching for the mother of a newborn found in a cardboard box Sunday. The boy is hospitalized in good condition.

July 02, 2002|CHRISTINA L. ESPARZA | TIMES STAFF WRITER

Police were looking Monday for the mother of a newborn boy who was found in a cardboard box outside a downtown Los Angeles apartment.

A resident returning home about 8:45 p.m. Sunday found the infant on the doorstep and called police.

"She was only gone for half an hour," Los Angeles Police Officer Alex Baez said.

"And in that time span, the baby was left there."

The 5-pound, 4-ounce newborn was in good condition Monday at County-USC Medical Center, a hospital spokeswoman said. The baby, who had part of his umbilical cord attached, is believed to have been about 2 hours old when he was found in the 2300 block of Griffith Avenue.

"Whoever delivered this baby cut the umbilical cord and tied it, cleaned the baby, put the baby in clean clothes and supposedly left him on the doorstep of an apartment," said hospital spokeswoman Adelaida De La Cerda.

The discovery came about three weeks after a baby girl was found outside an apartment in Panorama City, naked and covered in blood. She was treated at Childrens Hospital of Los Angeles for hypothermia and released to the county's custody.

Three days earlier, the body of another newborn girl was found on a conveyor belt at a waste processing plant in the City of Industry. An autopsy found that the infant had died of blunt-force trauma.

A California law, dubbed the "safe haven" law, allows a woman to leave her baby at a hospital, health clinic or fire station within 72 hours of delivery without being questioned or prosecuted for child abandonment. In the last couple of months, two babies have been safely surrendered that way, officials said.

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