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The baby was found suffering from hypothermia, which an expert said is one of the biggest risks for babies born away from medical care. The condition could lead to infection or breathing problems if not treated quickly.

“When a baby is moist and has exposure of its skin to the air, it will lose heat very rapidly,” said Dr. Christopher Robinson, a fetal and maternal medicine professor at the Medical University of South Carolina in Charleston.

Roger Newton, president and general manager of the 13-year-old Bi-Lo Center in downtown Greenville, said he’d never encountered anything like this in his 33 years of managing arenas from Ottawa, Canada, to Miami.

The manager said he’d had to deal with a death during his career, but never a birth. He said the cleaning crew members deserved high praise.

“They did everything they should have, and we’re very proud of them,” he said.

Residents in this conservative region said they were shocked by the boy’s discovery and concerned about both mother and child.

“It’s unfortunate that anyone has to go that far, and wouldn’t know what to do,” said Lorna Sexton, 54, of nearby Taylors. “It broke my heart to hear it. Let’s hope the girl, the woman, is able to get some help.”

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Associated Press writer Meg Kinnard in Columbia, S.C., contributed to this report.