A group of kids found a three-month premature baby, who was still breathing, in a trash pile behind a building in Jersey City, New Jersey over the weekend. The child is now at Jersey City Medical Center receiving medical care and treatment.
New Jersey’s safe haven law would have allowed the mom to leave the boy anonymously at a hospital or police station without abandoning the infant to die.
Three teenage boys were playing in the courtyard of the Kensington Avenue complex about 3pm when they heard a baby whimpering. They reported the unusual cries to the five-story building supervisor, Arturo Rivas, who called police.
Hudson County Assistant Prosecutor Gene Rubino told NJ.com the infant, breathing on his own, was rushed to Jersey City Medical Center. Born about three months premature and weighing just 2.85 pounds, the little boy was in a stable condition in intensive care last night. He still had his umbilical cord attached.
The infant could have suffocated inside the Pathmark bag if it wasn’t for Keyshaun Wiggins, 15, and his two friends who heard his cries as they played in the courtyard.
‘We heard something crying in the bag, we thought it was an animal or something,’ Wiggans told ABC 7. ‘So we went up to the bag, and we saw the baby’s hand coming…The baby could have suffocated in the bag.’ The boys reported the shocking discovery to Rivas and his wife, Rebecca Wolmers. ’I opened the bag and made a hole and saw the baby and it had a lot of tissue around it,’ Wolmers told ABC7.
‘I opened the bag from the bottom and it still had the umbilical cord attached,’ she told NJ.com.
Wolmers said she cleaned the baby as she waited for Emergency Medical Service crews. It is not clear how long the infant had been inside the bag. She said she didn’t know who could have left the baby in the trash and didn’t think anyone in the building was pregnant.
Rivas said he normally kicks the boys out of the courtyard but was grateful he made an exception this time: ‘Thank God they were back there,’ he said.
Officials with the Hudson County Prosecutor’s Office Special Victims Unit and Jersey City Police are investigating. In New Jersey, the Safe Haven Law allows a person to drop off a baby at a manned police or fire station, or at a hospital and not be prosecuted.
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