By Nancy Flanders
Two people have been arrested regarding an abandoned newborn baby girl — thought to be no older than three weeks — who was found by two men last week behind dumpsters in Mississippi.
According to the Associated Press, police are investigating after the baby was found bundled in several pink and blue blankets in a car seat at about seven in the evening on January 24 behind dumpsters at the Grove of Cayce mobile home park, which is located near the state’s border with Tennessee. The baby was taken to Le Bonheur Children’s Hospital and is reported to be in good condition.
The two individuals arrested are identified as Arcides Gomez and Marlid Carballo. They were taken into custody on Friday and both face charges of conspiracy and falsely reporting a crime.
“We would like to thank you for your help, support and prayers for this little girl,” the Marshall County Sheriff’s Office said on Facebook.
The sheriff’s office had previously announced that it is offering a “substantial reward” for any credible information that leads investigators to the parents of the baby or anyone who may have been responsible for abandoning her.
According to USA Today, the incident sparked discussions over Safe Haven laws and people are calling for wider awareness regarding the laws.
Every U.S. state has a Safe Haven Law, which allows new parents to safely and anonymously surrender their newborn child to a designated safe location. Though the laws vary by state, each one protects the parent’s identity and they will not face charges. Mississippi’s Safe Haven Law states that the parent can voluntarily surrender a child no more than 72 hours after birth as long as the baby is “delivered to provider at a hospital, emergency room, licensed adoption agency, or EMS provider by a parent with intent not to return for the child.” By the law, the child must be handed to a staff member at one of these locations.
Monica Kelsey, founder of Safe Haven Baby Boxes, explained that in states that have such a rule, it can be considered abandonment if the parent does not give the baby directly to an employee.
Editor’s note. This appeared at Live Action News and reposted with permission.