An Oklahoma woman said she found a newborn baby boy abandoned on the side of a highway inside of a car seat stuffed with cash.
Alexis Harrison said she and her church group spotted the 4-week-old baby on Saturday afternoon while they were returning from an amusement park in Oklahoma City. The group, members of the Abba's House of Worship Center in Ada, Oklahoma, located about 90 minutes southeast of Oklahoma City, said it immediately called 911.
"I think that church van was in the right place at the right time because they were the first ones who got the baby," Harrison told ABC affiliate KOCO on Tuesday. "It's just surreal."
She said the baby appeared to be sleeping when the group spotted his carrier sitting about 10 feet away from a busy stretch of Interstate 40 in Oklahoma. He appeared to be well cared for, officials with the Department of Human Services said.
"I said, 'Please tell me that’s not what we think it is,'" Harrison said. "You see this in movies. This isn't real life."
Authorities also found a birth certificate, a Social Security card and about $5,500 in cash stuffed in the baby’s car seat. Police have located the baby's mother through relatives and took her to a hospital for evaluation. They are still investigating.
Emergency workers estimated the child had been left in the 91-degree heat about 30 minutes.
"We don't know why she did what she did," Police Sgt. Gary Knight told local reporters on Tuesday. "But people do the strangest things sometimes. I don't recall seeing a case like this where a baby was just left on the shoulder of the highway. This could have had a very tragic ending."
He said it will be up to the Oklahoma County district attorney to decide if charges will be filed against the child's mother.
The Department of Human Services said it has received phone calls and emails from people across the country, asking if they could adopt the baby boy.
“We’ve received calls today and emails from people in Oklahoma and all over the country who want to adopt this baby,” Sheree Powell, a representative for the Department of Human Services in Oklahoma, told KOCO on Tuesday.
“We’re hoping to direct families today on how to find information about becoming a foster parent,” she added. “Hopefully people’s passion will continue and they will follow through with that.”