Police: Young mother faces felony charges for abandoning newborn baby in Yonkers
A young mother is facing felony charges for allegedly abandoning her newborn baby in Yonkers.
The newborn baby girl was discovered in the hallway of an apartment building on Chestnut Street around 8:30 p.m. Tuesday. She was found dressed in a T-shirt and wrapped in a blanket, with her umbilical cord still attached, indicating she was just four hours old at the time.
The baby was promptly rushed to the hospital for care.
After reviewing hours of surveillance footage, police located and arrested 21-year-old Jaqueline Marteni-Perez of Yonkers. Investigators determined that Perez gave birth to the baby by herself that afternoon and left the newborn in the building around 7:30 that evening. Fortunately, a tenant discovered the baby about an hour later.
Perez was arrested and taken to the hospital for evaluation.
She was arraigned and released.
In New York State, a parent can legally abandon a baby up to 30 days after birth if it is done in a safe manner.
According to Yonkers police Commissioner Christopher Sapienza, between police and fire stations, there are at least 18 places to safely abandon a baby in Yonkers. That does not even include hospitals and other safe havens.
He added, "We hope this incident sheds light on the proper procedures to follow to avoid what could have been a horrible tragedy."
Child Protective Services will be involved to determine what the baby's future may look like.
Yonkers Mayor Mike Spano made a statement calling the situation heartbreaking and regardless of situation, don't be afraid to reach out for help.
For more information on New York State’s Abandoned Infant Protection Act Click here.