Someone walking through a parking lot outside a Food City grocery store in Tempe discovered a newborn baby girl that had been abandoned in a shopping cart in triple-digit heat, according to Tempe police.
The passerby notified the store manager at the Food City on Apache Boulevard near McClintock Drive around 7:45 p.m. Sunday, who in turn called police.
The 7-pound baby girl was wrapped in a blanket inside of a backpack in the shopping cart, Tempe police said. It was 103 degrees in Tempe at that hour.
The girl was taken to the hospital and is currently in good health.
"We know the baby was abandoned but to every action, there is a story behind it," said Det. Lily Duran. "We want to know that [story] because we don't know the circumstances behind this."
Police said the baby still had its umbilical cord attached and it appeared it was born that day.
Tempe police are seeking the public's help identifying the baby girl and encourage anyone with information about her identity to contact them at 480-350-8311.
Ironically, the baby girl was abandoned just steps from a fire station. Tempe's Fire Station 1 is right across the street from Food City.
"There's a certain amount of frustration that all they had to do was walk 50 feet away to the fire station, give us the child, no questions asked. We'd have taken care of that baby," said Paul Nies, the assistant chief for the Tempe Fire Medical Rescue Department.
All fire departments and hospitals in Arizona are considered "Safe Havens." Under state law, parents who surrender an unharmed newborn within 72 hours of birth to a Safe Haven provider will not face criminal charges.
The Bashas' Family of Stores, which owns Food City, released the following statement:“This is a tragic situation but we’re thankful that the baby was found healthy. Everyone involved reacted swiftly with the needs of the child as the top priority. We are committed to the safety and well-being of our shoppers and their families. This matter is currently under investigation by the Tempe Police Department.”
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