Residents Find Dead Baby in Garbage Dumpster, Autopsy Shows Baby Was 27 Weeks Along

State   |   Sarah Zagorski   |   Jan 13, 2015   |   2:54PM   |   Stockton, CA

On January 11th, residents in Stockton, California discovered the body of a baby in a garbage dumpster. An autopsy on the body revealed that the child was a girl at approximately 27-weeks fetal age.

Witness Alexandra Hurtado said, “They said the fetus looked like the mother had to have been in her third trimester. I don’t understand how anybody can do that to a child. I don’t care what the situation is.” Other witnesses told the police that they saw a couple wearing hoodies walking away from the dumpster earlier in the day.

dumpsterbaby3Now authorities are looking into the child’s death and consider it suspicious. Another witness, Christina Chavez, said, “I didn’t believe it so I looked too, as well. Me being 17 weeks pregnant was very shocking to find a dead infant. When I saw it, I cried. I mean it’s a baby. It’s an innocent baby that wasn’t even asked to be brought here and had to be dumped in a dumpster like its garbage.”

Since Chavez felt such a close connection with the baby, she named her. She concluded, “Well, she’s not my baby. But I did name the baby ‘Heaven’ because that’s where the baby is going.” At 27-weeks this abandoned baby could have survived if she received proper medical treatment. In fact, 80-90% of all babies born at this age live while babies before 26-weeks have a much smaller chance of survival.

However, as of right now, police don’t know why the baby girl was abandoned, if she was born alive, or the state of the mother who delivered her. Unfortunately, every year in the United Kingdom approximately fifty babies are abandoned by their parents. This is why in 2013 campaigners called for “baby hatches” to be placed in hospitals and medical units across the UK.

Baby hatches are heated units where a mother can safely and secretly place her baby; and are often described as padded incubators. Alley Lofthouse, the founder of a campaign called A Foundling explained that these hatches should be made legal because people who abandon their children sometimes have a real and desperate need to surrender their baby into safe hands.

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Currently, there are about 100 hatches located in Germany, Austria, Belgium, Czech Republic, Hungary and Italy. Abandoning a child is against the law across Europe, but some countries have introduced amendments to protect mothers who use a baby hatch.