A newborn baby was found dead in a duffel bag left outside a Chicago firehouse over the weekend and authorities say firefighters didn’t even recognize him. the baby stayed there until they went out to shovel snow.
“They were in and out so much that that morning no one heard the doorbell,” Chicago Fire Department spokesman Larry Langford was quoted as saying. Chicago Sun-Times. He noted that firehouses on the Near North side are often unmanned and are used as an air supply maintenance facility, meaning crew members often service the supplies. at other fire stations.
It remains unclear how long the infant was outside, where it was found in a duffel bag in the snow amid freezing temperatures. The Chicago Fire Department said officers discovered the boy around 5 a.m. that morning.
It is also not clear if he was still alive when placed outside the firehouse, but the building has a “safe haven” sign on the side door.
The law states that infants under 30 days of age can be delivered to a hospital, police or fire station if the parents feel they must deliver the child to a safer environment. But they must be delivered directly to employees, unlike the “baby boxes” being used in states like Indiana and contain silent alarms to notify first responders.
Langford said that for the “safe haven” law to work, the child “must be transferred from person to person.”
“We are trying to make it clear that you have to contact. Ring the bell can’t contact. You have to go see someone and give the baby back,” he said, adding that anyone who abandoned the baby should call 911 to let them know they have abandoned it.
“If the baby was put there alive, the baby would freeze to death,” said Dawn Geras, head of the Rescue Abandoned Children Foundation. CBS News. “It’s Chicago. It gets cold at night. You can’t leave a child out of the elements”.
“It was a tragedy that didn’t have to happen,” said Geras. “And it’s very close.”
She said the death should be a wake-up call to the nation, “that infant safe haven laws exist to prevent this from happening.”
An autopsy conducted on Sunday has been deemed inconclusive until the results of additional tests return. An investigation into the circumstances of the baby’s death is continuing. Police said Monday that they are hoping surveillance footage can help them find who abandoned the boy.