UPDATE: Seymour police identified man who may have info about abandoned baby
UPDATE: Seymour police made contact with the man who may have info about baby left in plastic bag.
SEYMOUR, Ind. – The Seymour Police Department is asking for the public’s help with identifying a man who they say may have information about an abandoned baby.
Police released two surveillance photos of the man on Wednesday morning. They say he is not a suspect, but he may have information that could help with the investigation. He may be affiliated with a local church.
Police said someone left a baby girl in a plastic bag alongside a fence about 20 yards off the roadway in the 600 block of South Jackson Park Drive. A person walking a dog discovered the baby around 4 p.m.
Detective C.J. Foster with Seymour Police believes the baby was born just hours before she was found.
Just before 4 p.m. Tuesday, a woman walking her dog in the 600 block of South Jackson Park Drive noticed a baby in a plastic bag alongside a fence about 20 yards off the roadway.
“She saw some movement in the bag, picked up the bag and opened it and found an infant child inside the bag,” said Detective Foster.
Police said the man in the photos stopped by the station to report the abandonment around the same time the woman found the baby.
A preliminary examination determined the baby was healthy.
The baby was found about a mile away from a Safe Haven Baby Box at Fire Station 3. It is a place where a person can anonymously surrender a baby and an alarm notifies medical and fire personnel.
“We want the community to know this is available and we clearly have some more work to do to raise awareness,” said Chanel Cunningham, Director of Programs for Save Haven Baby Boxes.
Cunningham believes this option allows a woman to drop off a child safely and avoid being judged.
“There is a level of guilt a level of anxiety knowing that this mother has to go in front of someone and face her worst fear,” she said.
A person who abandons a baby could be charged with neglect of a dependent. Prosecutor Jeff Chalfant in Jackson County said using a baby box can be used as a defense in those cases.
“It would be a defense which would prohibit a conviction. Other factors come into play here, like did the child suffer any injury?” said Chalfant.
In this case, the baby girl is safe and healthy.
Police said they are in contact DCS who will decide where the baby goes next.
The investigation is ongoing.