- Associated Press - Monday, March 3, 2014

RICHMOND, Ind. (AP) - Dave Hickman remembers it like it was yesterday, the day 58 years ago that changed his life forever.

The 73-year-old Tennessee man was then a 14-year-old Richmond kid, hunting with his grandfather, Clay Smith, in woods just west of Boston, Ind.

He and his grandfather, a man he idolized for the doting care he brought to their relationship, had just finished hunting and had begun skinning squirrels in a field off Indiana 122.

It was shortly after 6 p.m. Sept. 22, 1955.

A noise interrupted their post-hunt reverie, like a soft cry or coo. They heard it again.

Hickman decided to find out what it was, a harmless, curious decision that saved a human life.

He walked the fence row for about 25 yards to where the noise seemed to emanate. Then he started to climb the fence.

“When I was on top of the fence I saw her,” Hickman said.

It was a tiny baby, alone, chilled, drenched from the overnight rain, wrapped in a towel, umbilical cord coagulated to the fabric of the towel.

Police later said she was there for 12 to 24 hours. Doctors said she was no more than 5 or 6 days old.

There was no doubt she had been left there to die.

“Every day I see that vision of her laying in the brush and sticks and she was looking up at me. She wasn’t crying. It was more like she was cooing. You could tell she had been there awhile,” Hickman told the Palladium-Item (http://pinews.co/1kNiZH4 ).

“It was a shock. You just would never think you would find a baby laying out there. I remember thinking, ‘What kind of person would do something like this?’”

The two rescued the infant, called the Wayne County Sheriff’s Department and the baby was whisked away to Reid Hospital, where she was treated.

She was named Roseann Wayne, Roseann because the people in the Wayne County Welfare Department, in whose custody she was placed, liked the name, and Wayne for Wayne County.

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