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Baby boy in good condition

September 19, 2005|by ERIN CUNNINGHAM

HAGERSTOWN

erinc@herald-mail.com

An abandoned infant found near a Hagerstown home Saturday was in good condition Sunday at Washington County Hospital, according to spokeswoman Maureen Theriault.

Hagerstown Police Department investigative officers are seeking information about the newborn boy's parents and how the infant ended up at a home in the 800 block of Chestnut Street in Hagers-town about 9:30 a.m.

Holly Zimmerer, a nursing supervisor, said Washington County Social Services will decide where the infant, who is being called "Baby John Doe," will go when he has been treated at the hospital. Hospital staff and other officials will meet today to discuss what the next step will be, Theriault said.

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On Saturday, police said the baby is Caucasian and appears to have been delivered full term. Sgt. Dave Long said Sunday there was nothing new to report in the case.

Long said hospital staff and social services workers were handling the specifics about what will happen to the baby.

In his 18 years as an officer in Hagers-town, Long said he cannot remember another case of an abandoned infant.

A man found the baby curled up near a trailer hitch on his property Saturday. Police said the infant had been left there hours before being found.

Zimmerer said the newborn would have been a candidate for Safe Haven - a Maryland program allowing mothers to relinquish their children at various locations with no questions asked. The Safe Haven program applies to infants 72 hours old or younger who show no signs of abuse or neglect. Babies can be dropped off at a Safe Haven site by a mother, father, friend or family member.

Zimmerer said she did not know if the program is well-used. She also said she does not know if anyone has called the hospital asking to adopt the infant or claiming him.

In her six years at Washington County Hospital, Zimmerer said she does not remember any other abandoned babies being treated.

The Hagerstown Police Department's Criminal Investigation Division is requesting the public's help in finding the infant's mother. Anyone with information about the baby or the identity of the mother is asked to call the department at 301-790-3700.

Staff writer Karen Hanna contributed to this story.

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