- The Washington Times - Tuesday, December 24, 2002

Herndon police yesterday continued to search for the mother of a newborn who was abandoned last week in a McDonald's parking lot.
Police went to local hospitals yesterday looking for women with signs of a recent delivery.
"We're checking any site where there are admissions to area hospitals of women who were bleeding," said Sgt. Don Amos, a Herndon Police Department spokesman. "We're hoping to get some calls from someone who knows someone who was pregnant and now is not."
On Friday, the day-old baby was discovered by a man and his two children when they returned to their car parked at the McDonald's in the 300 block of Elden Street. They found the newborn wrapped in a sheet without clothes in the front seat. The man, who did not want to be identified, drove the baby to Reston Hospital, where he was in good condition, Sgt. Amos said.
Hospital officials said they know the baby was delivered at home because of the way the umbilical cord was cut, Sgt. Amos said.
The baby may be released to Fairfax County Child Services this week, he said. The baby will eventually be placed in foster care.
Police said if the mother is found, she may face criminal charges, but they said their first concern is making sure she is safe, Sgt. Amos said.
"We're not sure of the circumstances," he said. "We don't know why this was done. This could be a teenage mother whose parents didn't even know she was pregnant, or she could be an illegal immigrant. It could be a number of different scenarios."
According to the most recent U.S. Department of Health and Human Services data, 105 infants were abandoned in public places in 1998, 33 of whom were found dead.
Sgt. Mike Williams, who has worked in the Herndon Police Department for 11 years, said it was the first case of abandonment that he could remember in the town.
Police also visited businesses with surveillance cameras, Sgt. Williams said. Police said the mother may not live in the area, which could make the search difficult.
"What is going to be the closing factor is if somebody calls in," Sgt. Amos said.
Anyone with information should call 703/435-6846.


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