Chicago Police Find Dead Unborn Child Abandoned on a Sidewalk

State   |   Micaiah Bilger   |   Sep 8, 2022   |   12:23PM   |   Chicago, Illinois

Chicago police are trying to figure out what happened to a premature baby whose dead body was found Saturday on a sidewalk in the city.

NBC Chicago and other local news reports described the dead baby as a “fetus,” meaning the baby likely was very young. However, police have not released information about the gestational age of the baby or how he or she died.

According to NBC, police said the baby’s body was found Saturday afternoon on a sidewalk on the 6400th block of West Bloomingdale Avenue in the Northwest neighborhood of Galewood in Chicago.

“Video from the scene showed a small blanket covering something even smaller in front of a couple of garage doors. Crime scene tape fluttered off a fence nearby,” FOX 32 Chicago reports.

Police said they are investigating. However, they have not released additional details since the initial report.

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Infant abandonment and infanticide are problems across the world.

In February, Nebraska police arrested a woman after witnesses said she gave birth to a baby boy on the sidewalk in freezing temperatures and then abandoned her child. About a month earlier, another newborn baby was found alive in a dumpster in Hobbs, New Mexico after the mother allegedly threw the child into the trash container several hours earlier.

Many countries have laws that allow mothers to safely relinquish their infants to authorities if they are unable to care for the child themselves.

In the U.S., all 50 states have safe haven laws that allow mothers to safely surrender their newborns to authorities, often at a police station or hospital, without repercussions as long as the infant is unharmed. Typically, laws allow safe surrender within a certain time limit, such as up to 30 days after the baby’s birth. Some states also have baby boxes where women can safely surrender their newborn.

Safe haven laws have saved thousands of babies’ lives. According to the Centers for Disease Control, “Since 1999, when Texas became the first state to implement Safe Haven Laws, an estimated 4,100 infants have been safely surrendered nationwide.”