Police said they found the teenage mother who abandoned her newborn baby girl in the bushes of a Lowell, Indiana family’s yard last week.
Last Monday morning, Elysia Laub, 9, thought one of her baby pigs had escaped from its pen when she saw a little pink creature in the bushes of her yard; instead, she found an abandoned newborn baby girl. The newborn had maggots crawling on her body and her umbilical cord still was attached, the Laub family said.
NBC 5 Chicago reports the Laub family found the baby around 11 a.m. July 11 during extremely hot temperatures. Police said the baby suffered a sunburn but appears to be OK otherwise, thanks to Elysia and her family.
More than a week later, the Lake County Sheriff’s Office said the baby girl is doing well in the hospital, according to CBS Chicago. Authorities said the baby will be transferred to a foster home soon.
The sheriff’s office said the baby girl’s mother also was found. They said she is a young teenager who lives in Lowell. Because the young mother is a minor, authorities said they can not release more details.
Authorities are crediting 9-year-old Elysia Laub with saving the baby’s life.
“I just saw pink legs kicking away,” Elysia told NBC. “I knew it was alive and I knew we had something. I could not second guess myself. I knew we had to get help.”
Elysia’s mother, Heidi, said she instructed her daughter to call 911 while she cared for the baby.
“Then I ran to the baby and scooped it up and I said, ‘Elysia run to the house and call 911 as soon as possible,’” Heidi Laub said. “I got to the house and we put one of our baby blankets around her.”
Laub said the experience was one that she and her daughter will never forget.
Authorities estimated that the baby girl was laying there for a few hours after she was born. In a statement, Lake County Sheriff John Buncich described Elysia as a “guardian angel” and said she saved the baby’s life.
“She knew right away this was an infant and she ran to the house and summoned her mother, and her mother ran out right away and realized exactly what she had found. And the mother took the infant home until the officers and medics arrived,” Buncich said.
Elysia told CBS Chicago, “Somebody helped me: God.”
All 50 U.S. states work to protect infants from abandonment through save haven laws, which allow mothers in crisis to leave their newborns in a safe environment, such as a hospital or fire station, without questions or repercussions.
However, many people are not aware of these laws. Indiana is working to raise more awareness about its safe haven law, and it is installing safe haven baby boxes at various locations across the state. The boxes have padding and climate control, and they alert authorities when a baby has been placed inside. Several European and Asian countries have been using the baby boxes for years, but Indiana is the first state in the U.S. to initiate the project.