Safe surrender site could have helped mother, abandoned baby

Placer Sheriff?s investigation continues Wednesday into death of infant found in bag at roadside
By: Gus Thomson, Journal Staff Writer
-A +A
AUBURN CA - The Placer County Sheriff?s Office was tight-lipped as its investigation into the death of a baby found abandoned in tall grass at the side of a Newcastle road continued Monday. Lt. Mark Reed said that the office was not releasing any new information on a probe into the infant?s death. At the same time, hospital officials confirmed that Sutter Auburn Faith Hospital in Auburn and Sutter Roseville Medical Center are two of several locations in the area that a newborn could have been safely brought to by a parent considering abandoning a child. Under the state?s 11-year-old Safely Surrendered Baby Law, hospitals like the two in Auburn and Roseville accept babies surrendered within 72 hours of birth, with no questions asked. The law was adopted to ensure options were available to new mothers and prevent baby abandonment. Since the law was enacted, Sutter has had no babies surrendered at the Roseville or Auburn locations, spokeswoman Robin Montgomery said Tuesday. The baby found in Newcastle was discovered Thursday afternoon inside a plastic bag at the side of a road in a subdivision off Newcastle Road that was still undeveloped. ?Our policy is to accept any newborn 72 hours of age of less presented by the parent or another person having lawful custody of the baby,? Montgomery said. Montgomery said hospital protocol calls for no questions to be asked about identity, citizenship status or nationality of the person bringing the baby in. Babies who are surrendered are given medical treatment and the hospital would contact state Child Protective Services, she said. But a parent or person who has lawful custody of the child would have a 14-day time period to return and reclaim the baby, Montgomery said. Parents and babies are given matching armbands to ensure proper identification. Parents can also choose to fill out a questionnaire on family health history to help future caregivers give the infant the best possible care, Montgomery said. Help for mothers The number to call for information on safe surrender sites in Placer, Nevada or El Dorado County is 1(877) 222-9723 toll-free. Safe Surrender sites are required to display the blue and white logo.