Local News

Newborn Left on Steps at Cumberland County Health Department

Posted September 17, 2000

— A newborn was found on the front steps of the Cumberland County Health Department Monday morning.

The baby, a black male, weighing about six pounds, was discovered around 8 a.m. wrapped in a vinyl bag.

Baby Jarrod was only a couple hours old when he was found by pediatric nurse Lori Herring. His umbilical cord was still attached.

The newborn is in good condition at Cape Fear Valley Medical Center.

"Leaving a child exposed [outside]... had the temperature dropped lower than it was it could have very easily have meant the child could have died," says Sheriff Moose Butler.

The Cumberland County Sheriff's Office is checking with hospitals to see if a new mother has come in for treatment. Signs have been posted at the health department asking the public for help.

"I think that the individual who left the child in the bag left it in a position on the walkway of the health department so it would be found," says Butler.

The health department is working with deputies to identify a possible mother. Its surveillance tapes will be checked for clues.

"We'll try to go back and do so recollecting to see if there was a pattern or anyone was here who was having difficulty dealing with their pregnancy," says Janet Lindbloom, health department director. "We hope the mother will come forward, and that will be the easiest way to solve the mystery."

Investigators do not know what time Baby John Doe was left outside.

Anyone with information is asked to call(910) 323-1500and ask for the Watch Commander.

The parents face felony charges of abandonment and child abuse.

A proposal that would allow mothers to abandon their babies never made it to a vote in thelegislaturethis year. But it could re-surface in the January session.

The measure would let mothers drop off unwanted babies at designated safe places, like hospitals, and avoid prosecution.


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