The baby was left in the blistering heat before someone found her. Now, as the police try to find her parents, there are many who have stepped forward to take her home.
Editor’s note: This article was originally published on August 8, 2019. It has since been updated.
For Terrell Phillips, Tuesday afternoon was a normal day, despite the sweltering heat. But all of that changed when he saw something bundled up on the porch of his neighbor's house in Upper Darby, Pennsylvania. As he approached the bundle and started to open it up, what he saw shocked him.
Inside was an hours-old newborn baby girl who still had her umbilical cord attached. What was worse was that the poor little girl had been abandoned in the heatwave that had reached the mid-90s. “She was sleeping,” Terrell Phillips said to NBC Philadephia after he spotted the wrapped baby about 12:30 p.m. on his neighbor’s porch.
"I thought it was some sort of animal or something in there at first but when I saw a little arm, I walked over and saw the baby. No crying. Very quiet. She was just there. When I picked the baby up and opened the towel up, the baby still had the umbilical cord on her.”
Immediately, he informed the authorities and soon enough, Upper Darby Police officers were on the scene. Calling the baby "adorable" in a tweet, they had sent out a request to the newborn's parents to contact them.
"We want to find out who left the kid there and why, and then certainly if the mother needs help then we'll do whatever we can do to help her," Upper Darby Police Chief Michael Chitwood told ABC News. "Right now it's also a criminal case."
Thankfully, they were able to get her to the hospital in time and according to Good Morning America, the baby was in stable condition and has been released into the care of Delaware County's Department of Human Services. "Thank God the baby is OK. But to put a [roughly] 6-hour-old child on a porch wrapped in a blanket is insane, in my opinion. It was 93 degrees yesterday," Chitwood told ABC News.
He also stressed on the fact that the local Safe Haven law, called The Newborn Protection Act, states that a child under 28 days old can be left at a hospital, police station or fire station. "As long as the baby is not harmed there is no criminal liability attached to it," Chitwood said.
“You can give a child up the hospital, to the police station, to the fire house, to churches, to anybody just about.” The neighbors who found this little girl question why the mother didn’t use the safe haven laws if she was in trouble. @NBCPhiladelphia at 11pm. pic.twitter.com/ReX5VIoO5b— Aaron Baskerville (@ABaskerville10) July 31, 2019
The department had been working hard to find the parents and had no success until now. "While we are continuing our attempts to locate the parents of the child, we have been unsuccessful thus far," Detective Christopher Karr Jr. told Inside Edition at the time that the baby was in the hospital. "We are diligently following all of our leads that we continue to receive and encourage anyone with information to contact us."
As for the baby, the fact that she is doing well despite her circumstances was not the only good news. After hearing about her plight, the Upper Darby Police Station had been bombarded with 30-40 calls from people who were looking for information on how to adopt the adorable baby.
"Please only call with pertinent information that may identify the family of the child," the police department had tweeted then. “We are receiving an influx of calls requesting information on how to adopt the baby,” the department added, according to People. “While we appreciate the outpouring of support, the UDPD is not involved in this process.”
"This does not include the dozens of calls and social media message that have been received since the story broke," Karr said.
"Mom, if you’re reading this, call us," the police department added.
🚨🚨— Upper Darby Police (@UDPolice) July 30, 2019
This adorable hours old newborn was left abandoned, alone, in the 100 blk Englewood today.
WE NEED HELP locating the parents to get them the assistance that they need.
Mom, if you’re reading this, call us.
Call us at 610-734-7693 with tips or email email@example.com pic.twitter.com/b0dmXyULT7
After days of searching though, the police finally found the mother of the baby. "The mother is 15 years old and her parents didn't know she was pregnant," Chitwood said, reported NBC Philadephia. Despite being a minor, "she will be charged with recklessly endangering the welfare of a child. Her parents were unaware of the situation," police said, according to ABC 7.