Local News

Fort Bragg police search for woman who abandoned baby

Posted July 9, 2009 10:27 p.m. EDT
Updated July 12, 2009 1:14 a.m. EDT

— Fort Bragg police are asking for the public’s help in identifying the mother of a baby who was left on a doorstep Thursday in the Ste. Mere Eglise neighborhood on post.

A resident of the house and a neighbor found the boy, who is 3 to 6 days old, at about 4 p.m. Thursday after hearing him cry, police said. The white baby, whose umbilical cord was still attached, was taken to Womack Army Medical Center, where he was in good condition Friday, police said.

A woman with dirty blond, medium-length hair, who is believed to be in her early 20s, was seen Thursday afternoon in the Ste. Mere Eglise neighborhood – it's between Longstreet Road and Sicily Drive – carrying what appeared to be a bundle, police said. Investigators said they weren't sure if the woman was the baby's mother, but they wanted to talk to her.

"We're asking the public to help us identify who the mother could be so we can find out, does this child have any medical history or medical problems that we need to be aware of," Fort Bragg spokesman Tom McCollum said. "The child is at Womack due to the medical concerns of the child."

The child eventually will be turned over to the Child Protective Services unit of the Department of Social Services.

The mother will face federal child abandonment or child abuse charges, police said.

North Carolina has a safe surrender law for mothers of newborns to abandon their children without penalty, but the infant must be no more than 7 days old and must be left with a responsible adult, such as a health care worker, a law enforcement officer, a social worker or an emergency medical worker.

"A front porch of a house is not a responsible adult," McCollum said.

Police aren't sure whether the woman lives on post or has any connection to the military, he said. Civilians can gain access to Fort Bragg by showing photo identification.

"Right now, there's nothing leading us to believe this is a soldier," he said.

Anyone with information on the identity of the mother is asked to call Fort Bragg’s military police at 910-907-4817.