By Tori Shaw
The Polk County Sheriff’s office is searching for the mother of an abandoned baby girl, whose cries led neighbors to find her left alone on the ground outside.
Magdalena Gregorio Ordonez was at home when a noise got her attention. According to local news station WFTS, Ordonez believed the sound was coming from a cat. But as the cries continued, she decided to investigate the area behind her home, where she found a newborn baby girl lying on the ground. She immediately called 911.
Ordonez’s 12-year-old daughter, Eulialia Gregorio, said, “I was really surprised that they left a poor little girl on the [ground].”
Deputies found the little girl wrapped in a blanket with her placenta still attached, near the Regal Loop Mobile Home Park off of Bailey Road at 1:47 am. Based upon the baby’s body temperature, it was estimated by Polk County Fire and Rescue Department that she had been born approximately one hour before being found by Ordonez.
The six-and-a-half-pound baby girl was transported to a local hospital, and has since been reported as healthy and stable.
In an attempt to locate the baby’s mother, the Polk County Sheriff’s office said it deployed its K-9 unit, a drone, an aviation unit, and a bloodhound, but she has not yet been located.
Deputies also went door-to-door in the mobile home park, questioning residents, but Sheriff Grady Judd said the mother’s identity is still unknown. “We have worked throughout the community, and no one claims to know who the mother is. So far, no one has cooperated – if they knew anything,” Judd said.
Florida does have a Safe Haven law in place that was enacted in 2000. This law allows parents to anonymously leave their newborn babies (up to a week old) at a Safe Haven facility without fear of prosecution. Every state in the U.S. has its own Safe Haven law.
Sheriff Judd, shocked at the abandonment of the baby in a wooded area, said, “You can literally walk up, hand that baby to a firefighter, and drive off, and never disclose who you are, and there is no criminal liability to that.”
As for the unidentified mother, if found, she will likely be charged with child neglect. “We will hold her accountable because she left this child abandoned in the woods, ostensibly, to die,” he said. “We’ve already taken the appropriate DNA samples, and we will be at the FDLE lab in Tampa first thing the morning with the DNA samples.”
The sheriff named the baby Angel Grace LNU. He shared, “She’s as beautiful as an angel and it’s by the grace of God that she is not dead. And LNU is ‘Last Name Unknown.’”
Judd said if it weren’t for baby Angel Grace’s powerful lungs that got the Ordonez family’s attention, her fate would have most likely been different. About the family he said, “Those people are heroes, true heroes.”
Anyone with information about the baby’s mother should call the Polk County Sheriff’s Office at 863-298-6200.
Editor’s note. This appeared at Live Action News and is reposted with permission.