— ReginaWaldroupNBC5 (@ReginaWaldroup) July 11, 2016
Nine-year-old Elysia Laub was playing in her Indiana backyard on Monday when she spotted a movement in the grass. “At first I thought my brain was playing tricks on my ears, and I looked over and I just saw these legs kicking and I thought, ‘Is that a pig?” Elysia said. She went inside to get her mother, Heidi Laub, and together the two investigated. What they discovered was a newborn baby girl, already badly sunburned. Mrs. Laub wrapped the baby in a new blanket and called 911. “That’s when I realized the placenta was still attached,” said Mrs. Laub. The umbilical cord was attached as well, Laub would add — both cord and placenta were covered in maggots.
On Monday, Lake County Sheriff John Buncich said that the baby was likely born only hours before she was discovered. The baby was taken to a local hospital, where it was determined that the child was healthy aside from the sunburn. The mother of the child has yet to be found despite extensive searching, and for now the child has been placed in foster care.
Abandoning a child in such a way is not necessary in Indiana, a point the sheriff highlighted in his comments to the press. Indiana has a safe haven law, also known as a Baby Moses law, that allows for parents to anonymously, and legally, give up a newborn child by leaving it at places such as hospitals, police and fire stations. Some form of safe haven law has been passed in every state in the U.S.
Earier this year, Indiana unveiled the first climate controlled baby boxes. The small boxes, padded, temperature controlled, and capable of notifying emergency responders within minutes, were introduced to ease the process for women who seek to relinquish their children. “This is not criminal,” said Monica Kelsey, a volunteer firefighter who led the project, and was herself abandoned as an infant by her teenaged mother. “This is legal. We don’t want to push women away.”
Read the full story at The Washington Post.