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Top 10 Bizarre Places Where Newborn Babies Were Found Abandoned

by Joy Susan
fact checked by Jamie Frater

Some babies have a rough start in life.

While most people expecting a newborn are excited about the prospect of having a child, women experiencing unwanted or unplanned pregnancies are usually filled with anxiety and panic, especially if they’re not financially able to care for the baby. Many such people decide to give the child up for adoption, while others leave them in places like hospitals, where they will be cared for. In some countries and states, there are safe-haven laws that allow a person with an unwanted newborn child to drop them at selected areas without being criminalized. The child can then be documented and given the appropriate care.

However, human beings are unpredictable creatures, and at times, they do things that are totally uncalled-for. Here is a list of bizarre places where newborn babies have been found abandoned.

10 An Airplane Bathroom

Staff cleaning a Pacific Blue airplane that had flown to Auckland from Samoa discovered a newborn baby discarded in the bathroom’s trash bin. Fortunately, after the airport’s security personnel were alerted, they spotted a 30-year-old woman with bloodied clothes, who turned out to be the mother. After being interrogated, she claimed that she feared her mother’s reaction to the child, since she wasn’t married. She was taken to Auckland’s Middlemore Hospital for medical care and was reunited with her baby. What was even more surprising is that none of the 150 passengers on the flight had noticed that the woman was in labor.

In a similar incident, a security officer at an airport in Manila became suspicious when he noticed some movement in trash bags that were being removed from a Gulf Air jet that had arrived from Bahrain. Inspecting further, he found a newborn wrapped in bloody tissue paper inside a trash bag. The 3-kilogram (7 lb) baby boy was named George Francis, from the jet’s company initials “GF.” George looked Filipino, leading to speculation that his mother may have been a Filipino domestic worker returning home from her work post in the Middle East. Security personnel tried to identify the mother from the flight’s seating chart after one seat was found soaked in blood. When the story aired on national television, many couples came forward requesting permission to adopt the baby.

9 A Trash Compactor

Baby Found In Dumpster Identified

In a chilling incident which took place on March 25, 2016, a maintenance supervisor discovered a baby dumped inside an apartment complex’s garbage compactor. The supervisor, identified as Paula Andrews, was about to activate the compactor when she thought she heard a baby crying inside. She wasn’t sure, so she alerted her boyfriend, and they investigated. They found a baby boy, covered in blood with his umbilical cord still attached, buried under almost 20 bags of trash.

Despite the horror of the despicable act, what surprised them most was the fact that the newborn was still alive under all that garbage. Police officers were called and took the newborn to the hospital in stable condition. Paula said that it was a miracle, especially since it happened on Good Friday.

8 A Toilet

Footage Shows Mom Leaving Subway Bathroom Without Baby After Giving Birth

It’s dangerous and horrible enough to abandon a newborn in the garbage, but a California woman decided to discard her baby inside a toilet at a restaurant. Staff at a Subway in West Covina were bewildered when they saw an umbilical cord protruding from under one of the restroom stall doors. When they looked inside, they were met with the sight of a baby dipped inside the toilet bowl. They immediately called the police, removed the crying baby from the toilet, and covered her in a blanket.

The baby’s 38-year-old mother was soon found hiding in nearby bushes, as she’d left a bloody trail from the restroom. She was identified as Mary Trinidad, and she was well-known in the area for frequently searching for food handouts. Everyone who knew her confirmed that she had been pregnant. She was arrested and charged with child abandonment in addition to a previous drug-related charge. Luckily, the newborn had been discovered quickly. She was taken to the hospital.

Elsewhere, in Beijing, a woman went a step further and left her newborn baby girl wedged deep into a public toilet’s curved drainage pipe. The baby was discovered with her feet barely visible and her whole body submerged in the right-angled drain. She was discovered when residents heard her crying from inside the toilet and swiftly alerted the police. Amazingly, a police officer named Qian Feng was able to pull the girl out, and she had no visible injuries.

The mother was later found, and she said that the father of the child had abandoned her after she became pregnant. She said she had given birth in the toilet.

7 A Storm Drain

Newborn baby found alive at bottom of drain

A cyclist and his daughter made a horrific discovery in northwest Sydney when they were attracted by the “very intense” crying of a baby from inside a storm drain.

David Otte and his daughter were cycling near the M7 motorway in Quakers Hill on the morning of November 24, 2014, when they heard the baby. There was a very heavy concrete slab covering the drain, and David couldn’t lift it. Luckily, the unusual incident had attracted a crowd of curious onlookers. With great effort, the crowd was finally able to lift the slab, revealing the baby, who was still wrapped in his striped hospital blanket at the very bottom of the 2.5-meter (8 ft) drain. It’s a wonder that the baby was alive, considering the long drop and the very high temperatures that Australia was experiencing at the time.

The baby boy, who is believed to have been a week old at the time, was found dehydrated. He was removed from the drain and taken to a children’s hospital in Westmead with serious injuries. Authorities launched a manhunt for the mother. From checking hospital records and asking around, the police were able to trace the child to a 30-year-old woman from Quaker’s Hill. She was later arraigned in court.

This grisly incident occurred at a time when efforts were being made to establish baby hatches, where mothers who felt that they couldn’t take care of their newborns could safely leave them. By January 2016, the baby hatches hadn’t been established.

6 Buried Alive

An elderly woman gathering some herbs at a cemetery in China almost died of shock when she heard a baby crying from inside a grave. She thought it was a ghost and ran for her life. She sought refuge at Siping Temple, a Buddhist temple located near the cemetery. Zhao Shimin, a 75-year-old priest, heard the woman’s account and determined that the cries were of a baby and not a ghost. He phoned the police, who came and searched the area. A baby boy with a cleft lip was found buried alive inside a cardboard box in a shallow grave. The baby, who was in a serious condition, was taken to Tian Dong County People’s Hospital, where he was placed inside an incubator.

It is believed that the baby had been buried three or four days after being born, but it wasn’t immediately clear how long he had been in the grave. His parents were found in the nearby Siping Village in Ping Ma Town, and they were arrested along with five other people believed to have aided in burying the child. The child had been discarded because of the cleft lip, which is a condition that can be rectified with minor surgery.

In another incident in Pakistan, police on patrol at the Paracha Graveyard in Orangi Town, Karachi, found a living newborn baby abandoned inside a bag placed on grave. They took the child to one of the numerous foundations that have been established as drop off points for such babies. One is left to wonder what would compel a person to leave a child in a graveyard instead of taking them to a safer place where they can be looked after.

5 At The Beach

Police arrest abandoned baby story creator

In April 2013 at Sandy Beach in Honolulu, a 21-year-old woman named Keala K. Simeona went to the police and reported that she had found a newborn baby girl at the beach. She said she was parked nearby when she heard people shouting and the cries of a baby. According to her report, she went to see what was happening only to discover the baby lying there on the sand. She took the child to The Queen’s Medical Center and reported the issue to the police later.

Another man who was also at the beach said that he’d seen a woman screaming near the water. When he asked her what the matter was, she said that she’d cut her foot on the reef, and the man went on with his business. He said that later he saw a woman (though he wasn’t sure if it was the same woman he’d seen earlier) coming from the beach with a crying baby.

The Honolulu Police Department launched an investigation. As it turned out, the lady who reported the matter to the police was the child’s mother. The baby was signed up for adoption, and Simeona was charged with giving false information, which led the police to believe that the child had been abandoned on the sand near the water’s edge.

4 On The Street

In Durban, South Africa, Paulos Manisa, a street vendor, was selling belts and wallets on Plowright Lane was going about his usual business when he spotted a black shopping bag left on a vacant vendor’s table during peak shopping hours. He hadn’t seen the person who’d left it there, and nobody else seemed to be bothered with it. He decided to check what was inside the bag.

The vendor was shocked when he saw a baby peering up at him. Paulos said the baby girl was playfully waving her hands around. Together with a security guard, they asked around for the baby’s mother, but no one came forward to claim her. Authorities were alerted, and the baby was taken to a safe place.

In May 2015 in Ireland, another newborn baby girl was found in a Marks & Spencer paper bag along Steelstown Road in Rathcoole, on the outskirts of Dublin. The child was discovered by a motorist who had stopped for a toilet break. The baby girl, who was wrapped in a blanket, was a day old and seemed to have been well–cared for prior to being abandoned at the roadside spot.

The police force, commonly called the Gardai, were unsuccessful in finding the mother, even after investigating, looking at CCTV footage of the area, and releasing the baby’s photo to the media. The child was named Maria and was taken to Crumlin Children’s Hospital for care after medical examinations were performed on her. The police said that the place where Maria was abandoned was a “highly unusual” spot and wondered what may have motivated the mother to leave her there.

3 In A Nativity Scene

Police Searching For Mother Of Newborn Baby Found Abandoned On Upper Darby Porch

Some people take the Christmas spirit too far. In November 2015, Jose Moran, the custodian of the Holy Child of Jesus church in Richmond Hill, New York, was busy setting up a nativity scene when he decided to take a lunch break and finish the set later. When he returned in the afternoon, there was a real baby Jesus, complete with an umbilical cord, crying and wrapped in a towel! He called in the parish priest, who called the police. The child was taken to a hospital.

When police viewed surveillance videos, they noticed a woman who had walked into the church with a child but had left alone. Although a church is a place where babies can be left according to safe-haven Laws, authorities said that the woman should have alerted someone to the baby’s presence. Later on, a young couple from the parish expressed their wish to adopt the child.

2 Under A Bus

In India, a couple that had been married for four years was arrested after they decided that the best place to leave their 10-day-old child was under a parked bus. After the child was discovered under the bus on Apna Bazaar Road in Mulund, police had a difficult time identifying who was guilty of the heinous act because they didn’t get any useful leads after questioning the staff in the nearby hospitals.

A breakthrough came when a local resident hinted to them that the child had been born at a nearby home. When the people in the home were questioned, they gave up the names of the couple responsible. Jagannath Sahu, age 33, said that he was disturbed because he suspected that he wasn’t the father of the baby girl. He also said that ever since the girl’s birth, his wife’s relatives had been mocking him. He had therefore convinced his wife that they should get rid of her. Sahu and his 25-year-old wife Sapna already had another one-year-old girl. They were both arrested for abandoning and thus endangering the life of the newborn.

1 With Unsuspecting Strangers

Woman has infant handed to her from complete stranger

In February 2010, Zainabu, an elderly Muslim woman traveling on a bus from Nairobi to Malindi in Kenya didn’t notice anything unusual about the woman who sat next to her with a baby girl. The journey between the two towns was 10 hours long, so she struck up a conversation with her fellow passenger to pass time. The mother introduced herself as Farida. By the time they’d arrived in Mombasa, which is eight hours from Nairobi, they were already familiar with each other.

While the bus was stopped in Mombasa, Farida asked Zainabu to hold her daughter while she went to the toilet. When the bus was about to leave, the elderly lady alerted the bus crew that the child’s mother was still in the toilet. They looked for her there, but no one had even seen her going in that direction. Zainabu immediately knew the woman had intentionally left the child with her. She had to cut short her journey and report the matter to the local police station.

There are no safe-haven laws in Kenya, and if a person goes to the police with an abandoned child, she is asked to take care of it until the mother is found. In most cases, the mother is never found. Zainabu went home with the child as well as the bag of clothes that the mother had left behind. Upon inspecting the child further, she realized that the girl had a protruding growth at the back of her head, which required medical attention. It may have been the reason why her mother abandoned her.

In December 2014, a woman in Phoenix went to an apartment complex and left her child with Jennifer Argo, a woman she didn’t know. She explained that she was poor and had other children to feed and was unable to care for the baby. She said that her other six children were in the mountains. Argo called the authorities, hoping that the other children would also be rescued. The area was searched to no avail.

However, people who knew the mother directed officers to her home. They were surprised to find her husband and three of the children there. The man said that he had been busy and hadn’t noticed his wife leaving with their youngest child. When the woman was questioned, she supposedly gave multiple conflicting accounts. The 39-year-old was taken to a urgent psychiatrist care facility for evaluation.

I am a professional jewelry designer with interests in cultures and geography.

fact checked by Jamie Frater