- Associated Press - Thursday, March 20, 2014

HOUSTON, Miss. (AP) - A 25-year-old woman has been charged with two counts of felony child abuse after the discovery of an abandoned child in Houston, Miss.

Cora Lynn Watkins has been charged with abandonment of a child under the age of six and felony abuse of a child. Police are waiting for Watkins to be released from the hospital before serving her with both warrants.

“This is the second time for her to be charged with something like this. She was also the person charged with abandoning a child at the Salvation Army a couple of years ago,” Police Chief Billy Voyles told the Northeast Mississippi Daily Journal (https://bit.ly/1l6jwHA ).

In the most recent incident, Voyles said kids playing in a backyard heard cries of a baby coming from a storage shed and told adults. Police discovered a newborn baby boy in the shed about 7 p.m. Friday and immediately took it to Trace Regional Hospital Emergency Room.

“The baby was very young, and we have been told it is in good condition,” said Voyles. “I’m not sure how old the baby is, but it was delivered recently.”

Voyles said Watkins was taken to the hospital with complications due to the delivery. He said the baby was transferred to Le Bonheur Children’s Hospital in Memphis.

“This incident is still under investigation,” said Voyles. “I’m just thankful those kids heard that baby and immediately told someone. This could have been a very different situation.”

In 2010, Voyles said a baby less than a week old was found abandoned at the Salvation Army in downtown Houston.

He said the Hispanic baby boy was found in a car seat behind the Salvation Army building. A man dropping off a TV at the Salvation Army spotted the baby and alerted law enforcement dining in a restaurant across the street.

That baby was taken to Trace Regional in good condition.

Voyles said that child was taken from Watkins and placed in foster care. It was later returned to Watkins’ family.

In Mississippi newborns can be legally dropped off at local police departments, fire departments or hospitals. It is illegal to abandon any child of any age and conviction for child abandonment is a felony.

It was not clear if Watkins had an attorney.


Information from: Northeast Mississippi Daily Journal, https://djournal.com

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