Police need help in case of newborn found in trash bin

EVERETT — It was a month ago today that passersby heard a newborn baby’s cries from the inside of a trash compactor at an Everett apartment complex.

An Everett woman called 911 from the Mirabella Apartments and climbed in to find the boy, whose umbilical cord was still attached. He was beneath a microwave.

In the days that followed, police received calls from people wanting to help and even adopt the child, Everett police officer Aaron Snell said. Those messages were passed along to state Child Protective Services.

What police haven’t received are tips that could identify the boy’s parents. They also are still trying to find a potentially important witness, a woman who was standing by the dumpster and brought the sound to the attention of Paula Andrews who called 911 and went to the baby’s aid.

“Detectives are still hoping for leads from the community to solve this case,” he said.

Footage from surveillance cameras also hasn’t helped move the case forward.

The police tip line is 425-257-8450.

State Department of Social and Health Services officials said they can’t disclose details about the baby because of confidentiality laws.

They did, however, explain what typically happens in abandoned baby cases.

The process includes a dependency hearing in court and a petition to terminate the parents’ rights. DSHS works with police to find the parents because it wants to have as much medical history about the infant as possible. It also takes out a legal advertisement to try to locate the biological parents.

“Infants typically are placed with a foster home that is already licensed and trained to care for newborns,” said Norah West, a spokeswoman for the state agency. “Often those foster parents also intend to adopt.”

That can happen fairly fast.

“Both the dependency process and adoptions tend to take place very quickly in newborn abandonment cases,” West said.

Quickly can mean a matter of months, West said.

State and federal law tries to avoid abandonment cases similar to the March 25 incident in Everett. In Washington, mothers can leave their newborns with a staff member or volunteer at any manned fire station, rural clinic or hospital emergency room — no questions asked.

Eric Stevick: 425-339-3446, stevick@heraldnet.com

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