Cops: 'Miracle' Baby Survived Mom Placing Him In Plastic Bag

| by Nik Bonopartis
Xin Zeng.Xin Zeng.

First responders say it's a "miracle" a baby boy survived after he was put in a sealed plastic bag minutes after his 21-year-old mother gave birth.

Xin Zeng of Morton Grove, about 15 miles north of Chicago, tried to keep the birth a secret, but her brother called 911 on Dec. 7 after seeing Zeng bleeding heavily, the Chicago Tribune reported.

Arriving paramedics couldn't find the baby, and Zeng wouldn't cooperate with them, Cmdr. Paul Yaras told the Tribune.

"The paramedics didn't know she had given birth at that point," Yaras said. "They just knew she was bleeding all over the floor."

First responders eventually found the newborn in a plastic bag that had been tied closed, underneath a pile of towels. A lieutenant cut the "blue and lifeless" baby boy out of the plastic bag and passed him off to one of the other paramedics, who began efforts to revive him.

Paramedics were able to get the baby to start breathing again, and "he started getting color" once they got the baby in the ambulance, Yaras told the Tribune. They took the newborn to nearby Advocate Lutheran General Hospital, where he was initially listed in critical condition, but the boy's condition had improved by Dec. 10.

Authorities said Zeng is a college student who lives with her parents, who were out of the country when she delivered the baby on her own. Now Zeng is charged with attempted first-degree murder, and Yaras said the young mother didn't take advantage of several services that offer help to expectant and new parents in the Chicago area.

The police commander told the Chicago Tribune that Zeng could have taken advantage of the state's "safe haven" law, which allows parents to leave their newborns at designated places -- like hospitals, police and fire stations -- without being charged or prosecuted.

"You're in the middle of an area where we have rapid police and fire response," Yaras said. "We have a police station and a fire station nearby. We have plenty of support out there for young mothers. It's sad. She had the opportunity to get help for herself and get care as well. There's help out there for them and they can get it."

Zeng was arrested and brought to Cook County Jail, where she was booked on the attempted murder charge, with bail set at $10 million. She remained in jail as of Dec. 11, according to inmate records. Zeng's next court date is slated for Jan. 4, 2016 in Skokie, Illinois.

Sources: Chicago Tribune, Cook County Jail / Photo credit: Cook County Jail