OPD seeks mom of abandoned baby girl found at Willow Key
Police are searching for the mother of a baby girl found abandoned last week in southwest Orlando.
The baby was found around 4:20 p.m. Oct. 6 at Willow Key apartments, 5590 Arnold Palmer Drive, which is off Kirkman Road near LB McLeod Road.
She was left with a note urging whoever found her to take her to a fire station under Florida’s Safe Haven law. Police say she was fully clothed and is in good health.
“We are trying to locate the baby’s mother and have concerns for her safety,” Sgt. Eduardo Bernal said in a statement.
Florida’s safe haven law allows mothers to drop off babies 7 days old or younger at a fire station, EMS facility or hospital. Any mothers with questions can call 1-877-767-2229.
About 260 babies have been dropped off statewide since 2000.
Lars White, Oviedo fire chief and local coordinator for the group A Safe Haven for Newborns, said it is important for mothers to drop the babies off at the safe havens. Dropping the baby off in the open could have been dangerous, especially in the Florida heat.
“The newborn could have succumbed to the environmental conditions,” he said. “Newborns are definitely very vulnerable.”
Two babies were abandoned in Orange County last year.
One, dubbed Baby Willow because police found the child’s placenta and blood in the parking lot of the Willow Bend apartments on Silver Star Road, was never found even after an extensive search. Her mother, Susan Richardson, told police the baby was alive when she dropped her off in February 2016. She was sentenced to a year in jail for pleading no contest to child neglect.
The other baby was left unharmed at an apartment in August 2016 near Disney World. The mother has never come forward.
Anyone with information about the mother in the most recent case at the Willow Key apartments is asked to call Crimeline at 1-800-432-2464.