OPD seeks mom of aban­doned baby girl found at Wil­low Key

Orlando Sentinel - - LOCAL & STATE - By David Har­ris

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.

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