A newborn baby was found in a stroller on a South Los Angeles street Tuesday afternoon, police have said.
Alex Diaz told KTLA News in a videotaped interview (shown below) that he originally saw the stroller Monday night but thought it was just something somebody had thrown out, not unlike other debris littering the sidewalk. When he saw it again Tuesday morning he decided to take a closer look, and found a baby hidden under a blanket.
“When I first saw the stroller, like I said, I didn’t think anything of it,” Diaz said. “But when I got up close to the stroller and the blanket was clean, I was just like, ‘I hope nobody did this, I hope I’m not about to find a baby in here,’ and sure enough that’s what happened.”
Police and paramedics arrived shortly after and transported the baby to a nearby hospital.
“He was sweating. His pajamas were soaked in sweat,” Diaz told KABC News, describing how he found the baby. “It was horrible. I don't know how somebody can do something like that, not even animals do that.”
The child was last reported to be in good condition and recovering, according to KTTV News.
The baby was found across the street from St. Agnes Catholic Church, at the corner of Vermont Avenue and Dana Street.
“It’s saddening, I mean it’s with broken heart, to think here they are, this close to a church that has social services, and all they had to do was ring the bell,” the Rev. David Matz of St. Agnes told KTLA.
According to California state law, anyone with lawful custody of a newborn can turn over the child within 72 hours of the baby’s birth and not face any criminal charges. In Los Angeles County, children can be lawfully surrendered at any fire station or hospital.
Doctors reportedly said the baby found Tuesday was about 1 day old and still had his umbilical cord attached.
Police told KTLA they don’t know who the parents are and that they are looking at surveillance video to get get more information. They believe the baby was most likely abandoned.
“We are asking the public’s help to identify the mother — to make sure the mom is safe and why the baby was left here,” said Los Angeles Police Department Captain Sean Parker. “But the most important thing … is that the baby is safe.”
Photo Credit: Police photo via KTTV News