Police: Investigative lead in abandoned baby case is not child's mother

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"Baby Kathleen" was found abandoned in the front yard of a home in North Phoenix. By Jennifer Thomas "Baby Kathleen" was found abandoned in the front yard of a home in North Phoenix. By Jennifer Thomas
Phoenix Police detectives would like to contact this woman concerning the 'Baby Kathleen' case. This picture is from a convenience store in the area and the woman matches the description of the abandoned baby's mother. By Mike Gertzman Phoenix Police detectives would like to contact this woman concerning the 'Baby Kathleen' case. This picture is from a convenience store in the area and the woman matches the description of the abandoned baby's mother. By Mike Gertzman
"Baby Kathleen" was found abandoned in the front yard of a home in North Phoenix. By Jennifer Thomas "Baby Kathleen" was found abandoned in the front yard of a home in North Phoenix. By Jennifer Thomas
"Baby Kathleen" was found abandoned in the front yard of a home in North Phoenix. By Jennifer Thomas "Baby Kathleen" was found abandoned in the front yard of a home in North Phoenix. By Jennifer Thomas
"Baby Kathleen" was found abandoned in the front yard of a home in North Phoenix. By Jennifer Thomas "Baby Kathleen" was found abandoned in the front yard of a home in North Phoenix. By Jennifer Thomas

PHOENIX -- Less than 24 hours after releasing surveillance pictures of a woman they were calling an investigative lead in an abandoned baby case, police say she is not the baby's mother and has no connection to the child.

The pictures, which were relased Wednesday, are from a convenience store in the area and the woman matched the description given by witnesses.

On Thursday morning, Sgt. Tommy Thompson of the Phoenix Police Department said officers talked to the woman in the photos and determined that she has no connection to Baby Kathleen.

That means investigators are back to square one. Thompson said the search for the baby girl's mother continues.

The abandoned newborn was found in the front yard of a home in North Phoenix Tuesday afternoon.

A resident living near Seventh Avenue and Greenway Parkway said she returned home after running an errand and found the newborn baby girl wrapped in a towel about 25 feet from her front door.

Phoenix Fire Department Capt. Scott McDonald said the baby appears to have been born three to six hours before being abandoned. Part of her umbilical cord was still attached.

Firefighters warmed the baby and transported her to the hospital where she is said to be doing well.

Detectives on the case nicknamed the newborn "Baby Kathleen" because she was discovered outside a home on Kathleen Road.

They spent Tuesday evening going door to door looking for the baby's mother.

Phoenix police say witnesses reported seeing a young and very pregnant woman who appeared to be in distress in the area near the home on Tuesday afternoon.

That woman is described as Hispanic, between the ages of 17 and 24. Police say her dark hair was in a ponytail and she was wearing a white shirt with spaghetti straps and blue or gray pants. She also had a noticeable tattoo on her right bicep area that could possibly be a red floral design.

Detectives are also concerned for the mother's health.

Anyone with information about the baby or her mother's whereabouts is asked to call the Phoenix Police Department or Silent Witness at 480-WITNESS (480-948-6377).

Authorities want the public to be aware that Arizona is a "safe haven" state.

"We had a really fortunate outcome here but we want to hammer home that safe havens are available," McDonald said.

Under Arizona's "Baby Safe Haven Law" a parent may anonymously leave a newborn baby at any staffed fire house, police station, hospital, church or adoption agency within 72 hours of the baby's birth with no repercussions and no questions asked.