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Police arrest woman who turned in abandoned newborn

By Star-Advertiser staff & Associated Press

LAST UPDATED: 1:58 a.m. HST, May 1, 2013

Police arrested the 21-year-old Makiki woman who reported finding a newborn infant abandoned at Sandy Beach.

Detectives have determined the woman is the baby’s mother, police said.

Keala Simeona, 21, of Honolulu, was arrested Tuesday for filing a false police report. Police don’t expect to pursue additional offenses. She posted $250 bail and was released.

Simeona had told police she was parked at Sandy Beach in east Honolulu sometime between 11:30 p.m. Sunday and midnight when she heard several people screaming. After the screaming stopped, she said, she walked toward the ocean and found the naked newborn and took her to a hospital.

State Department of Human Services Director Patricia McManaman said Monday that the full-term, 8-pound baby was born immediately before she was found. However, officials couldn’t pinpoint an exact time of birth. The baby was doing well and drinking formula at the hospital, McManaman said, while police investigated the case as child abandonment.

A woman who answered the phone at Simeona’s home identified herself as her sister said she wasn’t home.

A spokeswoman for the Human Services Department said an initial hearing is scheduled for Monday in Family Court to determine custody of the newborn that staff are informally calling "Baby Sandy."

The final decision on whether the infant will be returned to the family, or if parental rights will be terminated, lies with the court.

The department plans to ask the court to order a DNA test to confirm the woman is the baby's mother.

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