Abandoned newborn found in Tempe grocery store parking lot

A newborn baby girl was found abandoned in a Tempe parking lot on Sunday night, police said.

A pedestrian was walking through the parking lot of the Food City grocery store, 1338 E. Apache Blvd., around 7:45 p.m. and found the baby wrapped in a blanket inside a backpack, which was placed in a shopping cart, Tempe police said Monday.

The person, who was not identified by police, reported the baby to a store manager.

The baby was taken to the hospital and appears in good heath, police said. The Arizona Department of Child Services has been notified, police added.

DCS officials could not be reached for comment.

Store officials issued a brief statement.

"This is a tragic situation but we’re thankful that the baby was found healthy," said Ashley Shick, director of communications and public affairs for Bashas', which owns Food City stores.

"Everyone involved reacted swiftly with the needs of the child as the top priority, " she said.

Tempe police are seeking the public's help to identify the girl and urge that anyone with further information calls 480-350-8311.

Police noted that, under Arizona law, fire stations or hospitals are designated as safe havens where a newborn can be dropped off. Doing so will prevent a person from facing criminal prosecution, officials added.

"We're right across the street — 50 to 100 yards away," said Tempe Assistant Fire Chief Paul Nies, citing the nearest Tempe Fire Department station located on Apache Boulevard. "There's a total of four crews and we were in full force when the child was left. We are pretty confident someone would have been there."   

Nies said his responding crews believed the baby had been born 1 to 3 hours before she was found.

Nies said under Arizona's "Safe Haven'' law, a baby can be dropped off without criminal charges if it is no more than 72 hours old.

"We'll take custody as long as the parent will not return for the child,'' he said.

© Gannett Co., Inc. 2017. All Rights Reserved


JOIN THE CONVERSATION

To find out more about Facebook commenting please read the
Conversation Guidelines and FAQs

Leave a Comment
More Stories