Police have opened an investigation after a newborn baby was found abandoned at Sandy Beach just before midnight Sunday.
The full-term, 8-pound newborn was “abandoned immediately after birth,” state Department of Human Services Director Patricia McManaman said.
McManaman reported that the baby is doing well at Queen’s Medical Center and drinking formula.
The baby was found after a 21-year-old woman heard several people screaming at the beach between 11:30 p.m. and midnight. The woman, who was in a parked car at the beach, then heard a baby crying and saw it in the sand. She took the child to Queen’s Medical Center.
She appears to have been abandoned and found within 24 hours, McManaman said. The baby was apparently not clothed when she was found, Mcmanaman said.
Police opened an endangering and abandonment case. Each is a felony with a penalty of up to a year in prison.
HPD said infant abandonment cases are quite rare.
Police said the woman who turned in the child is not a suspect.
A 2007 "safe haven" law allows immunity from prosecution for dropping an "unwanted" baby at a hospital, fire station, police station or with emergency personnel if the baby is unharmed and less than 72 hours old.
No one has taken advantage of the law since it went into effect,McManaman said.
The Associated Press contributed to this story.