Police rescue infant abandoned in outside dumpster with temperatures in low 40s

Police in North Carolina said they rescued an infant who was found inside an outside dumper where temperatures were in the low 40s.

Greenville Police said officers responded to 1547 Bridle Circle on Monday morning for a welfare check. 

A caller said a baby was found alive in the dumpster near the apartment building. The infant appeared to be up to two days old. 

The baby was rushed to the hospital. 

Detectives said they later located the juvenile mother of the infant as the baby is doing well at a local hospital. 

They said no charges have been filed at this time. 

Safe haven laws, which exist in every state, allow parents to leave a baby at a safe location without criminal consequences. The laws began to pass in state legislatures in the early 2000s in response to reports of gruesome baby killings and abandonments, which received copious media attention. Infants are at the highest risk of being killed in their first day of life, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

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There isn’t a national database that tracks the number of babies turned over through safe haven laws, but the National Safe Haven Alliance, a nonprofit that promotes the laws and provides resources to parents in need, collects figures from most states each year.

Slightly over 4,000 babies have been surrendered since the first law took effect in 1999, according to both the organization and the CDC, which put out a report in 2020.

The CDC found that a majority of infant homicides that take place on the day of birth are committed by young, unmarried mothers with lower education levels who had not sought prenatal care, and that they’re often associated with a hidden, unplanned pregnancy and with giving birth at home.

The study found that the overall infant homicide rate was 13% lower in the years since safe haven laws were adopted nationwide. The study compared data from 1989 to 1998 to data from 2008 to 2017. Every state had adopted safe haven laws by 2008.

The number of babies killed during their first day of life dropped by nearly 67%, according to the study. But most homicide victims were too old to have been relinquished under safe haven laws at the time of their deaths. In 11 states and Puerto Rico, only infants who are 72 hours old or younger can be relinquished to a designated safe haven, while 19 states accept infants up to 1 month old, and other states have varying age limits in their statutes.

The CDC recommends that states "evaluate the effectiveness of their Safe Haven Laws and other prevention strategies to ensure they are achieving the intended benefits of preventing infant homicides."

The Associated Press contributed to this report. This story was reported from Los Angeles.