COLUMBIA, SC (WIS) - Richland County investigators are still trying to figure out who left a newborn baby boy outside of an apartment building on Columbia's north side Monday morning.
Deputies said a call came into the sheriff's department shortly after 6:00 a.m. that there was an abandoned baby boy outside the Enclave Apartments at 1800 Long Creek Dr., which is near Broad River Rd. and Interstate 20.
Residents heard a woman screaming just before 6:00 a.m. Brittany Bradley and one of her neighbors ventured out to see what the commotion was about and discovered the baby boy who was uncovered and exposed to the elements.
"The umbilical cord and sack were still attached," said Bradley.
Bradley's neighbor ran off and returned with a blanket to cover the baby until help arrived.
Investigators said the mother apparently gave birth in the laundry room just inside the back door of building two.
As for the baby's condition, Bradley said the baby was okay. "It was fine," said Bradley. "It was shivering, shivering cold."
They baby was transported to Palmetto Health Richland where he is in good condition.
Richland County Sheriff Leon Lott hopes that the mother of the child will come forward. "Right now the main thing we're interested in is the safety of the child and that the mother is okay," said Lott. "The mother may need some medical attention also."
In South Carolina, there is an alternative to abandoning newborn babies called the Safe Haven Act or Daniel's Law.
Under the Safe Haven Act, an infant can be left with a hospital or hospital outpatient facility, law enforcement agency, fire station, emergency medical services station, or any staffed house of worship during the hours the facility is staffed. The infant must be less than 30 days old, unharmed, and left by the parent or other person acting for the parent. The law provides the parent immunity from prosecution if the conditions are met. A baby left under these conditions will be placed in DSS foster care and adoptions proceedings will be initiated immediately.
If you know anything about the abandonment of this baby, you are urged to call Crimestoppers at 1-888-CRIME-SC.
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