PHOENIX (3TV/CBS 5) - The body of an infant boy was found abandoned by a trash dumpster in Phoenix Thursday afternoon.
According to Phoenix police, officers responded to a report of an injured child at a strip mall near 35th Avenue and Baseline Road after they were called by a person who found the baby around 1 p.m. When officers arrived at the scene, they found a baby boy beside a trash dumpster behind a strip mall. Sgt. Ann Justus with the Phoenix Police Department says it appears that "this is a very newborn baby."
Justus said firefighters pronounced the infant dead at the scene. It is unclear how the baby ended up at this location or who the parents are. Detectives are going over surveillance video from nearby businesses for any clues as to who dropped off the baby, says Justus.
Patricia Martinez runs a martial arts studio nearby that is often busy with classes for kids. She's also a brand new grandma, and her daughter called her Thursday afternoon to tell her what happened. "So I can't even... it's pretty heartbreaking just to hear that. A brand new baby," she said. "I mean they bring so much joy."
In a news conference, Justus says since it's so early in the investigation and there are few details, they don't know for sure if this is a situation where a mother left her child. "There are fire stations and hospitals. There are safe havens where you can drop children off no questions asked. And we ask that if anybody finds themselves in a position where they can't care for their newborn, please drop your baby off at a hospital or fire station or call police," Sgt. Justus said. "There are lots of options."
Officers go on all kinds of different calls, Sgt. Justus said, and many of them are parents. Any kind of case like this that involves children can be very traumatic. She said the department has a unit dedicated to the well-being of officers and they reach out to them in situations like this.
In addition to anyone who may have seen anything, the Phoenix Police Department is asking anyone that knows someone who was pregnant, and is no longer pregnant and without a baby to please call 602-262-6151, or Silent Witness at 480-WITNESS (480-TESTIGO for Spanish).
CHILD DEATH INVESTIGATION. 35 Av/Baseline Rd. An infant was found unresponsive behind a business. Phoenix Fire pronounced the infant deceased on scene. If you have any information please call Phoenix Police or @SilentwitnessAZ— Phoenix Police (@PhoenixPolice) September 24, 2020