Police working to track down parents of abandoned baby girl in Mesa

Newborn 'baby Jane" abandoned in Mesa yard.

MESA, Ariz. - Mesa police are trying to track down the parents of a newborn baby girl, who was found abandoned in a baby carrier sitting on an irrigation box at about 11 a.m. Tuesday morning.

The homeowner, Roseanne McCulloh, called police reporting the abandoned child near Ninth Place near Alma School Road, and shared photos of the baby with 12 News.

Police said the baby, who they are calling Baby Jane, is 7 pounds, 8 ounces and about 20 inches. Police said she appears to be Hispanic or Native American. She was born at full term and her umbilical cord was still attached according to police. McCulloh’s son was worried that found her too late.

“He was scared, because he thought the baby wasn’t alive and right away I touched her and she was in a brown baby carrier and full of hair -- black as can be -- and I went to touch her and I touched her and she moved and I went, 'she’s alive,'” McCulloh said.

Thankfully Baby Jane is at a local hospital now and doing well. Police said once she’s released from the hospital, child services will take over from there. Investigators are still hoping to find her parents.

“At this point, we have no leads,” said Det. Steve Berry of the Mesa Police Department.

“We’re hoping that someone in the public knows a person who is pregnant and today they’re not and there’s no baby around,” he said. “We certainly think that someone out there knows who the mother of this child is. We understand that there are circumstances that people might get themselves into in life where they just don’t feel like they can deal with this or have the ability to care for that child.”

There’s a Mesa fire station about a half mile from the place the baby was found. Under Arizona’s Safe Haven law, that’s one of the places a parent could take their child if they don’t feel like they are able to care for that child for whatever reason -- no questions asked.

The Safe Baby Haven law went into effect in 2001, and organizations like the Arizona Safe Haven Foundation help get the word out about the law.

"As an organization we work really hard to get the education out there," said Heather Burner of the Arizona Safe Haven Foundation. 

But some say that not enough people know about the law, especially young mothers.

"You just need to hand over your infant within the first 72 hours, as long as it's unharmed there's no questions asked. The anonymity is there for a reason," said Damien Johnson, who is also with the foundation.

Other safe haven locations include open churches, hospitals and licensed child care facilities.

If you have any information about Baby Jane, call Mesa police at 480-644-2211.

Copyright 2016 KPNX


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