LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) - A Highview woman found a newborn baby boy alive around 6:30 p.m. on August 24, abandoned near a dumpster in some crumpled up newspaper. Now police are searching for the baby's mother and neighbors are searching for answers.
"The baby was left there," said Venus Payne, who lives in the Derby Run Apartments, where the baby was found. "What if somebody didn't find him?"
Payne says she and her neighbors who live in the complex in the 6600 block of the Outer Loop are shook up because of the tiny victim involved.
"He didn't ask to be here and granted the mother was probably scared and probably felt like she didn't know what to do," Payne said.
No one is more rattled the 33-year-old woman who found the baby.
The woman didn't want to be identified, but told us she was taking out the trash with her 3-year-old when she noticed some crumpled newspaper next to the dumpster appeared to be moving. She first thought it was an animal inside the paper, but then saw the baby's foot. The woman scooped the newborn boy up, brought him inside and called for help.
Louisville Metro Police spokeswoman Alicia Smiley says by all accounts, the baby appears to be OK.
"It appeared to be two days old perhaps, is what EMS is estimating," Smiley said.
The woman who found the baby says she thought the baby was born very recently. He was clean, she says, with his cord still attached. Now police are trying to find his mother.
"If you've noticed that someone recently became a parent and suddenly the baby isn't there, you know something is probably suspicious about that," Smiley said. "Give us a call at 574-LMPD."
Payne says she hasn't noticed anyone in the apartment complex who appeared to be close to giving birth.
"We're all family," she said. "We all live out here in Derby Run where we keep an eye on each other's children."
Whoever the mother is, Payne says she must have been scared when she abandoned her baby boy.
"We don't know what's going on in her mind," she said. "All I'm saying is let's not judge her. Let's not judge her. Let's pray for her and thank God the baby's alive."
Payne says any of her neighbors would have taken the baby in, had the mother knocked on their doors.
Police say Kentucky does have a safe infant law which allows mothers to drop babies younger than three days off at a safe place without the possibility of any charges: a hospital emergency room, police station, fire station or emergency medical services provider.
The baby was taken to Kosair Children's Hospital. Smiley said the child would be kept at Kosair overnight for observation and will be placed in the custody of the state.