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Away in a manger

Newborn baby, swaddled in towel, found in New York City church nativity scene

By WITW Staff on November 25, 2015

The nativity scene inside the Holy Jesus Child Church in the New York City borough of Queens came to life when a newborn baby — with its umbilical cord still attached — was found in the manger. Jose Moran, a custodian for the church, heard the baby crying Monday afternoon upon returning from his lunch break. Doctors estimate the infant was born four to five hours before his discovery.

Detectives are looking for a woman they believe is the infant’s mother — caught on surveillance video arriving with the child and leaving without him. Rev. Christopher Ryan Heanue, the parish priest, said the scene was inspirational. “I think it’s beautiful,” said Father Heanue in an interview with The New York Times. “A church is a home for those in need, and she felt, in this stable — a place where Jesus will find his home — a home for her child,” he said.

New York State has an Abandoned Infant Protection Act that allows parents to surrender a newborn baby within 30 days of birth, as long as the baby is left in a suitable location with an appropriate person who is notified. On Wednesday, the infant was being treated at a local hospital.

Read the full story at The New York Times.