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Police arrest woman who turned in abandoned newborn

By Star-Advertiser staff & Associated Press

LAST UPDATED: 01:58 a.m. HST, May 01, 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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kukaikid wrote:
real slick lady, time to tie the tubes.
on April 30,2013 | 03:34PM
bobbob wrote:
messed up part is that this made NATIONAL news. At least she had the decency to make up a story. Wonder how many instances of newborns being murdered by the mothers there are.
on April 30,2013 | 06:46PM
Skyler wrote:
on April 30,2013 | 10:45PM
loio wrote:
she'll have 3-5 more. the higher trajectory DNA ain't multiplying fast enough, the other DNA is. look around here.
on April 30,2013 | 07:36PM
st1d wrote:
rememver, the safe haven law was designed to offer confused mothers an alternative to provide their babies the hope of better care and safety.

by publicizing photos and the name of the mother and attempting to criminalize her actions in direct opposition to the spirit of the safe haven law, we may have frightened off other mothers who may have been thinking of safe havens to give their babies the hope of a better safer life.

no matter what we think of the mothers, the purpose of the law is to protect the innocent babies.

we failed badly on this one.

on April 30,2013 | 10:30PM
Skyler wrote:
Bs. She wasn't thinking of 'safe haven' - she made up a bs story, hoping no one would check her out. Had she sought 'safe haven' properly for the baby - without filing a bogus 'found da baby on da beach' report - in other words, without the bs report, we probably wouldn't even have heard about it. At least it wouldn't have made national news.
on April 30,2013 | 10:48PM
st1d wrote:
just as ignorance of the law is not a defense, ignorance of the law is also not an offense when you do what the law allows. just because she may have not known how to utilize the law, she ended up following the safe haven law by bringing the baby to the hospital.
on May 1,2013 | 10:49AM
Hawaiians wrote:
Well at least it clears up something- The mother didn't abandon the baby on the beach, she probably gave birth alone on the beach and panicked being a young first time mom with no support she didn't know what to do with a baby- so she tried to hand the baby over to authority's- but was to ashamed to face the people with the truth, that the baby was her's and she wanted to give it up.
on April 30,2013 | 03:50PM
Kalaheo1 wrote:
I agree with your assessment, I hope the police and other authorities handle this as compassionately as possible.
on April 30,2013 | 04:42PM
tiwtsfm wrote:
And where was Daddy?
on April 30,2013 | 09:18PM
gsc wrote:
Excellent Police Work !!!! Make an example of her.
on April 30,2013 | 03:59PM
Kalaheo1 wrote:
I agree. I think we all provide an example of the caring and compassion we have for a scared 21 year old woman who gave birth alone on the beach and then immediately turned her newborn over to authorities.

We can start here.

on April 30,2013 | 04:45PM
copperwire9 wrote:
Thanks Kalaheo. A kind response.
on April 30,2013 | 09:21PM
mamacita808 wrote:
For what? She lied about the baby being abandoned but did the right thing by taking her to somewhere safe. Hopefully the police and the justice system will set an example and be compassionate.
on April 30,2013 | 05:05PM
aomohoa wrote:
Give her a break. She is a young woman who panicked. No harm came to the baby.
on April 30,2013 | 06:58PM
GooglyMoogly wrote:
the crime was for filing a false police report. nothing more. this mother did the right thing: she didn't want her baby, so she handed the child over to the police...let's not lose sight of that fact. she just did it under false pretense.
on April 30,2013 | 04:09PM
hele wrote:
Well put.
on April 30,2013 | 04:18PM
cojef wrote:
Desperate people do desperate things. The young person probably is not aware of the fair haven procedure that is accorded to women faced with the same problems. The poor women needs help not castigation by the rest of us. She did make a number of mistakes, but you have to remember that she reported the incident. At first, I thought another woman abandoned the baby and was hard in my comments. This woman at least did not abandoned the baby, only lied about the baby's abandonment. Give her some slack, feel for this desperate woman. She needs help.
on April 30,2013 | 04:31PM
mamacita808 wrote:
Exactly. At least she did the right thing by the child and took her somewhere safe.
on April 30,2013 | 05:03PM
aomohoa wrote:
It's a shame she didn't have Ohana to support her.
on April 30,2013 | 07:01PM
AJSay wrote:
This is such a sad story because even at 21 years of age, you still are quite young and possibly not quite WISE enough to know that she could just turn the unwanted child in. We put so much energy into prosecuting this type of individual that may really be INNOCENT of any real crime. She didn't hurt the baby so she IS NOT CRAZY, and she wanted to be able to put the baby in safe hands. HELLO world. While we drag this poor child through the coals, we let the real bad people have rights etc. Obviously she felt confused, with no one to trust and no one to help her. PRAY for her and the baby that at least they are safe and that there must be someone that can give the child the love that she needs. This is one lesson that she learned. WORLD...have a heart!
on April 30,2013 | 04:27PM
iwanaknow wrote:
Will they test the baby for drugs?
on April 30,2013 | 05:28PM
AmbienDaze wrote:
this is a sad, sad story. if drugs or alcohol are involved, it would put the baby at a huge disadvantage. I hope and pray that the mother was clean during the term of her pregnancy.
on April 30,2013 | 08:30PM
nodaddynotthebelt wrote:
This woman is obviously sick and needs help. Yes, she should be punished for making a false report to the police. But let's just be glad that she did not injure or kill the child. In her own sick and twisted way she was trying to solve a problem. I think we should have some compassion for this woman. She might be mentally challenged and need support. For all we know she may be a victim of rape.
on April 30,2013 | 05:52PM
Hawaiians wrote:
I agree this very young mother very likely did NOT know of the fair haven procedure and created the story as a means to place the baby in safe hands, without abandoning the child, and risking harm to the baby. I hope the courts are kind and show compassion of her circumstances at the time and state of mind.
on April 30,2013 | 06:24PM
loveneverfails wrote:
nodaddy: your comments are a bit twisted and aggressive. even your name "nodaddynotthebelt?" twisted.
on April 30,2013 | 06:27PM
Hawaiians wrote:
Keala Simeona I can't believe they would release the poor woman's name-oh the shame of it.
on April 30,2013 | 06:35PM
st1d wrote:
let her be. the law says that a baby can be left at a place of refuge without fear of reprisal.

then, when the law is used for once, the mother is arrested and charged with a crime.

not encouraging to other young confused mothers to be out there who are considering alternate methods of freeing a baby into a life of promise and care. let these young mothers save what dignity is left to them as they release their child. do not shame them more.

on April 30,2013 | 06:41PM
aomohoa wrote:
I knew there was more to the story. Why go to all that trouble? It would have been better to just take the baby to the hospital and have the guts to just say you wanted to give her/him up.
on April 30,2013 | 06:56PM
Randz808 wrote:
Why is it, in many cases when those who deserve to have children have a difficult time conceiving. And those who don't, never have a problem.
on April 30,2013 | 07:00PM
MoiliiliBoy wrote:
Randz hit it right on - couples, married or not, and even single women, who are financially secure, have a steady job or two, and ready to start a family or become a parent, sometime struggle with fertility. Others, no/part time job, little/no security in the future, not emotionally/financially ready, sometimes seem to pop them out. With shelves full of birth control options, what gives? Need to past tests to graduate high school, need to pass a test to get a license, need to past tests to become ___, but need not past a test (or take a class) to become a parent.
on April 30,2013 | 09:45PM
olos73 wrote:
In KHON2's report, "Newborn baby abandoned...", there was a male witness who was in his van at the beach. He heard screams, then went to check. He asked the woman who was at waters edge if that was her that screamed and she said yes. Asked her if she was alright and she said she cut her foot. He went back to his van. If this guy wasn't there, knowing he is a witness, would the outcome be the same, or a tragedy? Just glad baby is OK.
on April 30,2013 | 07:30PM
saywhatyouthink wrote:
Well.. glad to hear the baby was not actually abandoned. She wasn't aware of the safe haven law, I can understand why she filed the false police report. I think prosecutors should cut her some slack and let her go.
on April 30,2013 | 08:09PM
Bdpapa wrote:
After all of this, I am relieved that the mother took the baby to the hospital. She does have some compassion. But there is no way she or her family should have custody of this child.
on April 30,2013 | 08:41PM
Skyler wrote:
Why not her family? She might have an awesome mom, just shame because of what happened. The baby needs a loving, nurturing home - I hope the woman's ohana can care for the baby properly.
on April 30,2013 | 10:54PM
ponowai wrote:
People need to be educated about being able to turn in new borns without prosecution. I didn't know you could do that, what are the details? Is it just for newborns, how old does the baby have to be? Hopefully now more people will know about that law. If this young woman knew about it I'm sure that's what she would have done. Knowledge is the key, the state should have informed people about that law. Mentioning it on the news is not enough.
on April 30,2013 | 08:42PM
brusselsprouts wrote:
"How does Safe Haven work? 'A distressed parent who is unable or unwilling to care for their infant can give up custody of their baby, no questions asked. They must simply bring the infant to a safe haven location and make sure they locate a person to give the child. As long as the child shows no signs of intentional abuse, no name or other information is required.' " And then we plaster your name all over the news - pathetic. If she is the mom which the DNA test well help conclude then I'd say Safe Haven may have just discouraged future women in these situations from trusting "Safe Haven." The baby is safe unharmed and the Hawaii News is having a hay-day. Boo to you.
on April 30,2013 | 09:04PM
Skyler wrote:
She lied - what were they supposed to do? Nothing? Had she told them she wanted to give the baby up (and obviously she didn't know about the 'safe haven' law), we probably wouldn't have ever heard about this case.
on April 30,2013 | 10:56PM
MoiliiliBoy wrote:
There's no evidence that the baby was born "at a beach", just her story mentions that (unless I missed something mentioned elsewhere). In most cases, they will test a newborn for drugs/alcohol, and determine her DNA to see, if the courts order mom to submit, if it matches her mother's. Just because police say she is the mother, one day the child may be returned to her, but there has to be scientific evidence to do so (imagine the scenario of the girl being returned to the non-biological mother). I hope she sought pre-labor check ups, if not, even if the baby looks healthy, drinks milk and weighs 8 lbs., doesn't mean she is healthy on the inside. Someone tipped the police off, perhaps a boyfriend/husband, relative or friend. Because she appeared to be the only witness in this case, she was questioned thoroughly and police are wise to those who are hiding something, especially something as emotional as giving birth and questioning their ability to parent, as perhaps in this case, alone.
on April 30,2013 | 09:37PM
livinginhawaii wrote:
Thanks to Mizuno she can now walk away from accountability and responsibility of parenthood. Our over paid politicians are truly sending the wrong message to our keiki.
on April 30,2013 | 09:40PM
st1d wrote:
thanks to mizuno the baby had a chance for a better life, better care and hope. thanks to over publicity of the mother's name and photos and the police department's attempt to criminalize her, there may be no other baby given a chance for better care, better life and hope.
on April 30,2013 | 10:33PM
st1d wrote:
for those who condemn the mother for the audacity of getting pregnant and then attempting to use the safe haven law to assure the baby a better life: remember that the law is trying to save an innocent baby from being stuffed into garbage bins or buried while still alive.

with the public humiliation of having the mother's name and photograph all over the news coupled with the police department's attempt to criminally prosecute the mother future mothers facing similar situations may not avail themselves of the protection offered by the safe haven law.

all we've done in this incident is endanger the lives of other babies yet to be born to mothers who feel abandoned and scorned because they got pregnant.

it's the baby, that's the reason for safe havens, the baby.

on April 30,2013 | 10:25PM
HAJAA1 wrote:
Babooze towney
on April 30,2013 | 10:41PM
fyaman001 wrote:
....... She DID NOT take advantage of the safe haven law in this case and publicizing this case will do more to encourage the use of safe havens than just looking the other way will. ...... she isn't some confused teen; she is educated and 21 years old! She has substantial family and support in the community so there is no excuse for her basically abandoning a baby (safe haven law or not) I think terminating her parental rights are an appropriate first step....
on April 30,2013 | 10:47PM
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