HUNTINGTON, W.Va. — Police continued their search for a mother who dropped off an infant child on the doorstep of a home in the city Saturday evening.
The baby boy was believed to be less than 24 hours old when left on the porch of an 11th Street home in Huntington. The residents heard someone bang on the door and discovered the newborn with a note indicating the mother was unable to provide a good home.
“At this point, we’re not looking to charge her,” said Detective Ted Backus of the Huntington Police Department. “We want to make sure that her health and her care is taken care of and that she doesn’t have any problems related to the birth.”
The child was still hospitalized Monday in a pediatric intensive care unit. Backus said the ICU is a precaution since doctors know nothing of the baby’s family history.
“We didn’t have an opportunity to have umbilical cord blood tested for any addictions,” Backus said. “He’s in the hospital to make sure he has no addictions or health issues. Once that is cleared he’ll be placed into foster care pending an adoption process.”
Leaving a child on a doorstep wasn’t uncommon in the 1920s, but it’s a rarity today. Backus knew of only one other such case in his police career. He said it seemed sad that a child would be abandoned only hours after birth, but also credited whomever left the child with at least providing the baby a chance.
“She dropped him off at a home where somebody was home. It also appeared he had been taken care of before he was dropped off,” he said. “His glucose levels were fine, blood sugar was fine. He wasn’t malnourished and he wasn’t neglected, it didn’t appear.”
Police said a witness spotted a woman walking in the vicinity of the house around the time of the incident. She was described as a young, black woman dressed in black and carrying a camouflage backpack. Backus said police don’t know if the woman had any family connections to the baby.
The note from the mother indicated she had given the child a name, though police haven’t released that information.