Local News

Newborn Left at Zebulon McDonald's

Posted December 8, 2006

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— A Wake County woman faces felony charges after police said she left her newborn baby in a bathroom at a McDonald's restaurant.

Zebulon police allege that within an hour of his birth, Michelle Dawn Richardson, 27, of Wendell, abandoned the baby boy in the women's bathroom at the McDonald's located at 141 Wakelon Dr., police said.

"She will be charged with child abandonment and possibly felony child abuse," Zebulon Police Chief Tim Hayworth said.

Police were called to the McDonald's at about 6:30 p.m. after a customer saw a blanket inside a bathroom stall, picked it up and discovered the baby, Hayworth said.

"The baby still had some blood on the body, but it had been cleaned up," he said. "It looks like somebody had taken the time to wipe the baby off. The umbilical cord was still attached. It was a couple of inches long, and it had been tied off with a shoestring."

Emergency Medical Service crews responded and took the child to the pediatrics unit at WakeMed. The baby was listed in good condition Thursday evening.

Richardson, the baby's mother, is currently at the hospital receiving pre-natal care. Authorities plan to arrest her after she is released from the hospital.

Police, working with the Department of Social Services, obtained a petition to have the newborn temporarily put in the custody of the state.

Sources close to the case told WRAL that Richardson reportedly once abandoned twins at a hospital, which is allowed under the state's Safe Surrender Law. That statute allows a mother to legally surrender her child to a responsible adult within seven days of birth, if the baby is unharmed.

Richardson has been arrested three times in the past two years for writing bad checks and embezzlement.

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