The dead body of a newborn baby was found abandoned by a trash dumpster in Phoenix, Arizona, on Thursday afternoon.
Phoenix police said officers responded to reports of an uninjured child at a strip mall near 35th Avenue and Baseline Road after receiving a call by a person who found the baby at around 1 p.m.
When officers arrived at the location, they found the baby next to a trash dumpster behind the mall. Sgt. Ann Justus with the Phoenix Police Department confirmed that the baby was a "very newborn child" and was found in an unresponsive condition.
Justus said firefighters pronounced the infant dead at the scene. It is not yet known how the baby wound up at the location or who his parents are but detectives are combing through surveillance footage from nearby businesses for clues that may help them identify who dropped off the baby.
Police are not releasing the gender of the baby at this time, and are unsure whether the child died at the scene or at a different location and was later abandoned.
Arizona Is A Safe Baby Haven State
The story is heartbreaking, especially when there are alternatives available for parents who are unable to care for or have thoughts of harming or abandoning their child.
In 2001, Arizona adopted Safe Baby Haven laws, which state that a person will not face criminal charges for handing over an unharmed newborn baby within the first 72 hours after birth to a designated Safe Haven location, which includes hospitals, fire-stations, on-duty emergency medical technicians and child-welfare agencies, adoption agencies or churches with Safe Haven signs posted.
"If anybody finds themselves in a position where they can't care for their newborn, please drop your baby off at a hospital or a fire station or call police," Justus said.
The Phoenix Police Department has urged anyone with information to reach out to them at 602-262-6151 or contact Silent Witness at 480-WITNESS.