Teens find abandoned, barely-clothed baby outside Tennessee apartment complex, cops say

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Teen girls found an abandoned newborn outside of an apartment complex in Tennessee, barely clothed and on the ground, officials say.

A neighbor took a Facebook Live video of the baby — found in Memphis — showing the newborn’s umbilical cord was still attached, according to Fox13. Police, which received a call about the baby about 4 p.m. on Wednesday, Dec. 8, said the baby was taken to Le Bonheur Children’s Hospital in non-critical condition, the TV station reported.

Local residents expressed shock when they heard about the baby, and one told WREG Memphis they were grateful the child was safe.

“I’ve never seen it myself personally. I’ve only heard stories of babies left in trash cans and things and such but not so close to where you are everyday,” neighbor Edison Hagan told the TV station.

Action News 5 reported that when the two teenage girls found the baby on the ground, the child was only wearing a piece of cloth around its waist and the temperature was about 56 degrees.

The Memphis Police Department told Action News 5 that there would be no charges filed against the mother, who had been located after the baby was found outside the apartment complex.

McClatchy News reached out to the Memphis Police Department and did not immediately receive a response.

The incident also sparked a larger conversation among the community and law enforcement about infant Safe Haven laws in the state.

Later on the evening of Dec. 8, the Memphis Police Department published the official Safe Haven law of the state on its Twitter.

“FYI, The Tennessee Safe Haven law allows mothers of newborns to surrender unharmed babies to designated facilities within two weeks of birth without fear of being prosecuted,” the department added on its page.

Designated facilities under Tennessee law include hospitals, birthing centers and community health clinics.

Despite the shocking nature of the discovery, some neighbors are urging the community to not make harsh judgments against the newborn’s mother.

“You know, everybody’s so quick to judge and condemn people. We’ve been in situations before where we didn’t know what to do. We have made decisions on impulse or emotion,” Hagan told WREG. “It’s the holidays. It’s the season for perpetual hope.”

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