Local News

Dead infant found outside Winston-Salem Planned Parenthood

Posted September 11, 2010 1:24 p.m. EDT
Updated September 11, 2010 3:19 p.m. EDT

— A dead infant was found in a blue storage bin outside Planned Parenthood, 3000 Maplewood Ave. in Winston-Salem, Saturday morning, according to police and organization officials.

The newborn is a white girl, and the cause of death remains under investigation, police said. An autopsy will be performed at Wake Forest University Baptist Medical Center.

"This morning our Planned Parenthood staff found an unidentified storage bin outside the health center and immediately called police," spokeswoman Melissa Reed said in an e-mailed statement. "We are fully cooperating with law enforcement as they conduct their investigation. Our hearts and prayers go out to all involved in this tragic situation."

Medical personnel are asked to contact police if a patient has been treated with symptoms of recently giving birth.

"The health and well being of the mother of the child is also a concern," police said in a statement. "Anyone, family members, friends or acquaintances with information about the identity of the mother of the deceased infant is asked to call the Winston-Salem Police Department at 336-773-7700 or Crime Stoppers at 336-727-2800."

Police said they want to make sure the public is aware of North Carolina’s Infant Abandonment Act.

The act states that a parent may voluntarily deliver a child, less than 7 days of age, to a health care provider at a hospital, district health department or a nonprofit community health center; to a law enforcement officer who is on duty at a police station or sheriff’s department; to a social services worker who is on duty or at a local department of social services and a certified emergency medical service who is on duty or at a fire or medical services station.

A parent who surrenders a child under this act is not subject to criminal prosecution, and the parent is not required to provide any information, according to police.