In January, a newborn baby was abandoned at Tucson International Airport. As previously reported by Dearly, the baby was found by an airport employee on a changing table inside the women’s bathroom.
The baby was clean, swaddled, appeared to be in good health, and was just hours old, reported The Arizona Republic.
Under Arizona’s Safe Haven Law, passed in 2001, a parent can anonymously leave a newborn who is less than 72 hours old at a safe haven provider such as a fire station, hospital, or church without the threat of criminal prosecution. The law, however, does not extend to airport bathrooms.
Police were determined to find the baby’s mother, one of the priorities being to find out if she needed help, airport spokeswoman Jessie Butler told reporters. Airport security immediately began reviewing surveillance footage once they were alerted to the abandoned baby, according to KABC.
As the Arizona Daily Star reports, Tucson Airport Authority released security footage of a woman believed to be responsible for leaving the baby in the bathroom in an effort to identify her.Tucson Airport Authority
Butler said in a news release after reviewing footage from the airport and interviewing witnesses, police believe the woman in the video may have given birth to the baby in the airport shortly before 9:00 p.m. and carried the baby to the family restroom in baggage claim to clean up, before taking the baby to the restroom outside of a rental car facility where the baby was ultimately found.
Airport officials reportedly found bloody clothes in an airport bathroom they believe belong to the mother, according to The Washington Post.
As KABC reports, the security footage captured the woman carrying something in her arms that appeared to be wrapped in a blanket. The woman also appeared to be walking with an “awkward gait,” reports ABC News.Tucson Airport Authority
Along with surveillance video, Tucson Airport Authority released the contents of the note found with the baby. It read:
Please help me.
My mom had no idea she was pregnant. She is unable and unfit to take care of me. Please get me to the authorities so they can find a good home.
I just want what is best for him and it’s not me.
The recording of the call to 911 was also released, in which a man told emergency dispatchers: “Somebody left a newborn baby with a note in the bathroom.”
Butler told the Arizona Daily Star criminal charges are yet to be determined, and officials are still looking for the woman. He said: “We would like to know who she is but we’ve exhausted our resources.”
The baby is currently in the care of the Arizona Department of Child Services.