By Victor O'Brien
Killeen Daily Herald
The immediate future of a newborn girl found abandoned Thursday will hinge on a Killeen police investigation.
A Killeen firefighter found the infant wrapped in a blue jacket outside his window at the Killeen Central Fire Station Academy Thursday.
Killeen police asked the public to help find the baby's mother Thursday afternoon. Police fear she could suffer from pregnancy-related infections or illness if not treated by a doctor.
The infant, believed to be in good condition, will be handed over to Child Protective Services once released from Metroplex Hospital.
Detectives are investigating the case to determine if the "Baby Moses" law applies, Killeen police spokeswoman Carroll Smith said.
In 1999, Texas became the first state to pass a law allowing mothers to abandon newborns younger than 60 days old at designated safe havens such as fire stations.
"It's much better than the alternative," CPS spokesman Chris Van Deusen said Thursday. "(The law passed) after a number of children were found after birth abandoned in trash cans or bathrooms. This is certainly the preferred outcome to that."
The Killeen fire lieutenant found the baby around 2 p.m. after he heard crying outside his office window. He left his office and found a girl wrapped in a blue jacket outside the Central Fire Station Academy, 207 N. 28th St.
Paramedics rushed the baby to Metroplex Hospital, where physicians determined she was in good condition.
Police believe the baby was born about two hours before being abandoned, Smith said.
The baby, believed to be of Hispanic origin, weighs 6 pounds, 3.5 ounces and is 18 inches long.
Killeen police would like the mother's medical history to help the child, Smith said.
"We need to find who is the mother. We need to know as far as any medical history of the mother, in case she passed something on to her child," Smith said.
CPS will seek new parents to adopt the child once legal proceedings commence, Van Deusen said Thursday. Under the law, courts can assume parents withdraw their rights when they legally abandon a child.
The case becomes more complicated if police find the "Baby Moses" law does not apply. For instance, the law does not protect parents of children who suffered abuse or neglect before being abandoned. In such instances, extra proceedings are necessary to revoke parental rights to prepare for adoption, Van Deusen said.
Anyone with information is urged to contact Crime Stoppers at (254) 526-TIPS (8477) or at www.killeencrimestoppers.com. All information is confidential.
Contact Victor O'Brien at firstname.lastname@example.org or (254) 501-7468. Follow him on Twitter at KDHcrime.