Baby Girl Found in Bag in Church Parking Lot

Oct 24, 2011 4:42pm

A newborn baby girl was found Sunday, apparently abandoned, at Gospel Presbyterian Church, in Schaumburg, Ill., a suburb northwest of Chicago.

According to Sgt. John Nebl, public information officer at Schaumburg Police Department, just after 2 p.m. a member of the church said he found a green reusable canvas shopping bag on the trunk of his car. He noticed a teddy bear and a blanket or towel inside, and thought someone had left the bag by accident, so he took it into the church and left it on a table in the foyer.

Thirty minutes to an hour later, someone heard sounds coming from the bag and looked inside.

“We found a reddish color bath towel totally wrapped around the baby,” Bob Song, a church elder, told ABC-7 Chicago. “So I unwrapped the baby towel, and it was a very healthy-looking baby.” Church members called the police and fire departments.

The baby is at Alexian Brothers Medical Center, in nearby Elk Grove Village, Nebl said. Doctors said she appeared to be two days old and in good condition, weighing 7 pounds. They thought she was full-term and that she was likely not born in a hospital, given the length of her unclamped umbilical cord, Nebl said.

When the hospital deems her ready to leave, the baby will enter the custody of the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services, according to the state’s Safe Haven Law. The law allows parents to relinquish babies 30 days or younger to hospitals, police departments, fire stations or emergency medical facilities.

Churches are not on this list, Nebl said, citing their lack of medical personnel. The baby could have been inadvertently thrown in the garbage by the man who found the bag, or could have gone two days without being found in the church foyer, he said.

If the mother is identified, she could be charged with neglect, Nebl said, but he emphasized the authorities’ main goal was “to determine if mom is healthy, physically and mentally, and make sure she was not coerced into anything. Then, based on the totality of the case, she would be charged or not.”

Nebl said although the baby appeared to be at least some part Asian, the public should not assume both parents were Asian. Gospel Presbyterian Church’s sign is in Korean, and it ministers mostly to Korean-Americans. Schaumburg’s population is “18 to 20 percent Asian,” Nebl estimated.

According to ABC-7 Chicago, Church officials said some members were interested in adopting the girl.

Anyone with information about the baby and/or her parents is encouraged to call Schaumburg Police Department at 847-882-3534.

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