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Mom Charged in Drain Baby's Abandonment in Australia

Image: Mom Charged in Drain Baby's Abandonment in Australia
A picture shows the drain in the western Sydney suburb of Quakers Hillwhere an abandoned newborn baby boy was found, in Australia, 23 November 2014. (Roje Adaimy/EPA/Landov)

By    |   Tuesday, 25 Nov 2014 11:18 AM

An Australian mother has been charged with attempted murder for abandoning her newborn boy baby in a highway drain where he was for five days before passing cyclists heard him crying.

Police identified the mother, 30, who lived in the Sydney suburb of Quakers Hills, through hospital records and arrested her after the child was found Sunday morning, according to Sky News. Authorities believe the child was born on Nov. 17 and placed in the concrete drain near M7 highway the next day.

Cyclists riding along the highway Sunday morning found the infant in the drain covered in a blanket.

"We felt sick," Hayley Otte told Australia's Seven Network, according to CNN. "We just wanted that baby to know ... that it was OK."

New South Wales Police told Seven Network that rescuers pulled the boy from the eight-foot drain. Inspector David Legats told Sky News that the child remained in serious but stable condition at a local hospital.

"It would appear the striped blanket is similar to what is wrapped on babies in hospitals," Legats said to Sky News. "I can also say the umbilical cord had been cut and had been clamped so it appears to have some sort of medical intervention since its birth. It was already undernourished, and dehydration would have taken affect so we would have had grave fears for the child's welfare had it been exposed to this weather for the rest of the day."

The mother did pick up one supporter in Karen Healy, president of the Australian Association of Social Workers, who said that the woman needs guidance and not condemnation, according to The Guardian.

"We need a compassionate response to these women and it's very unfortunate that the first reaction is often one of vilification," Healy told The Guardian, admitting that the mother's action was unusual.

"Babies are generally left on church doorsteps or at hospitals – in high-traffic areas where the parents know someone will find them and take care of them," said Healy.

"Typically, parents will abandon their baby because of a complete inability to take care of their child, and very often they are looking for someone else to care for their child but don't want to be investigated. But this is quite a different scenario," she said.

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An Australian mother has been charged with attempted murder for abandoning her newborn boy baby in a highway drain where he was for five days before passing cyclists heard him crying.
mom, charged, drain, baby, abandonment
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2014-18-25
Tuesday, 25 Nov 2014 11:18 AM
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