TPD continues investigating after baby found dead in dumpster

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By: Lanetra Bennett | WCTV Eyewitness News
Updated - February 19, 2018

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WCTV) -- Police continue to investigate a baby found in a Tallahassee dumpster.

The baby was found Friday evening at Rolling Hills Apartments on John Knox Road.

Authorities say the baby was an African American girl.

Police still aren't able to confirm if the baby was dead before being placed in the dumpster.

This story is now raising questions about safe havens.

Yellow specialized signs indicate a 'Safe Place,' where a parent who is unable or unwilling to keep their child can drop them off.

Each of Tallahassee's 16 fire stations is a safe place, along with all of our area hospitals and emergency rooms.

In Florida, you can leave your baby, up to seven days old, with an employee. It's called the Baby Moses Law in Georgia.

"It's sad. We understand that people fall on hard times. Sometimes it's just not conducive for them to be able to take care of a kid properly. That's why we opened up these sites to bring kids in. That's something that says, if you bring your kid in, no questions will be asked and we get the kid the best care that we can provide for them," said Matt O'Brien with the Tallahassee Fire Department.

Safe Places can also be used for children or teens who may feel they're in danger. Instead of running away from home, they can go to any safe place.

O'Brien says it doesn't happen often, but, a safe place has been used in our area to drop off a baby.

Safe Place is a national program celebrating 35 years of helping families.

Capital City Youth Services 24-hour hotline: 850-576-6000. The website is www.ccys.org.

In Tallahassee, it's a partnership with Capital City Youth Services.

Health officials say prenatal care can also help.

Nurse Midwife Marianne Towler at Bond Clinic says prenatal care can not only help prevent infant death, it can play a role in a mother not abandoning her child.

She says when a mother is receiving her regular medical check-ups, it's also a time for staff to catch any mental or emotional concerns.

"Prenatal care is great, it's important. You can pick up on abnormalities and so on. But, the real key is having support, having people who will listen and who will try to pick up on clues on if you're having a really hard time through a pregnancy," Towler said.

Towler says simply having family support and someone to listen to them, makes a big difference in a baby's and mother's health.

Towler says the usual prenatal care is important: having regular physical exams, eating healthy, and drinking plenty of water. Towler says expecting mothers should stay away from smoking, alcohol, and drugs.


By: WCTV Eyewitness News
Updated - February 19, 2018

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WCTV) -- The Tallahassee Police Department is investigating after a baby was found dead in a dumpster at a local apartment complex.

Police responded to the scene at 4:20 p.m. Friday at the Rolling Hills Apartments located at 280 John Knox Road.

Officers found the baby, which appears to be an African American female, deceased in a dumpster on the property.

Police say it is not clear if the baby had died prior to being left in the dumpster or as a result.

The case has been assigned to investigators with TPD's Violent Crimes Unit. At this time they are interviewing all known witnesses and processing the scene. Investigators are asking anyone with information about this case to please call them at (850) 891-4200 or Crime Stoppers at (850) 574-TIPS.



 
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