Michigan mother of abandoned newborn charged with child abandonment and child abuse


By Dave Andrusko

24 Hour News 8’s Henry Erb speaks to Jeff Kopp, who along with his dog Bobby found a newborn on the side of the road near Diamond Lake.

24 Hour News 8’s Henry Erb speaks to Jeff Kopp, who along with his dog Bobby found a newborn on the side of the road near Diamond Lake.

Last week a teen mother who abandoned her newborn on the side of a dirt road in rural Michigan was charged in juvenile court with one count of child abandonment and one count of second-degree child abuse. Thanks to alert neighbors the baby was discovered within hours and suffered only superficial injuries, WOOD-TV, Channel 8 reported.

According to court documents, the girl admitted giving birth and abandoning her baby. The baby girl is in foster care.

Last week, according to Heather Walker,

“Prosecutor [Robert] Springstead said he decided to charge the teen mother because ‘there are laws in place that address this type of situation. … She had other options.’

“Michigan has a ‘safe haven’ law that allows a person to anonymously surrender an infant within 72 hours of birth to an emergency service provider like a hospital, police station, or fire station.”

As NRL News Today reported previously, Jeff Pope, the Michigan man who found the five-hour-old baby with umbilical cord still attached, said, “I feel that we were led to that place, OK, because it was out of the ordinary for me to come in this direction.”

Jeff Pope added, “I tend to think it was God led us this way, that all life is precious to Him.”

On the morning of July 28, Mr. Pope’s Labrador, Bobby, pulled Kopp down the road in White Cloud, Michigan, and toward a satellite dish. Kopp initially thought what he saw was a rabbit.

Bobby began sniffing the “rabbit.”

“Then it moved,” Kopp told WOOD TV. “That’s when I started yelling.”

In July a Department of Health Services worker told the court that after allegedly placing the naked baby on the ground across the street from her house, the mother went home and fell asleep. The DHS worker said the mother had given birth on a blanket near a fire pit outside of her home that she shares with her father.

It turned out that the young girl reportedly was watching as neighbors found her daughter. She then approached the scene.

“This was just bizarre to me but she looked at us and she said, ‘You know, I am almost 15 years old and if I ever had a baby, I surely would not do something like that,’” Pam Kopp told WZZM.

WZZM also reported:

“When DHS workers initially talked with the 14-year-old, she said she didn’t know whose baby it was. Then she later admitted the baby was hers. She did name a male who she says is the father of the child, however when that male was questioned by detectives, he denied having intercourse with the teenage girl.”

Subsequent DNA tests proved the boy was the baby’s father.

“The teen mother could be sentenced to anything from counseling to time in a juvenile detention center,” Walker reported.

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