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A newborn baby girl was found by deputies from the Polk County Sheriff’s Office early Saturday morning, January 28, 2023, in Mulberry, after someone reported hearing a baby crying outside.
At about 1:47 am, deputies found the girl, wrapped in a blanket, on a small hill near the Regal Loop Mobile Home Park, just off of Bailey Road. She was still attached to the placenta.
Polk County Fire Rescue medics estimated that the girl had born approximately one hour before she was found, based on the infant’s body temperature.
In the Mulberry area overnight, the outside temperature was in the lower 50s.
PCFR transported the girl to a local hospital and she was reported to be healthy and stable.
Meanwhile, deputies attempted to locate the mother of the infant. A K-9 unit, drone, Aviation unit, and bloodhound were used in the search. Deputies also began going door-to-door, but have so far been unsuccessful in locating her.
“It was by the Grace of God that we found the abandoned baby girl when we did, before exposure to the cold or any animals caused her any harm. She was left in an extremely vulnerable condition, but she’s a strong little girl, and it looks like she’s doing great.” - Grady Judd, Sheriff
The Polk County Sheriff’s Office would like to remind mothers about Florida’s Safe Haven Law, enacted in 2000, which allows for parents to leave their unharmed newborn child (under a week old) at any Safe Haven facility (hospitals or properly staffed EMS/Fire Station) anonymously, and without fear of prosecution.
If anyone has any information about the mother of this baby, they are asked to call the Polk County Sheriff’s Office at 863-298-6200.