Florida

Mom gives birth at a Florida highway rest stop and leaves her baby behind

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A mother gave birth to her baby boy at a Florida highway rest stop over the weekend and left him in a bathroom stall, according to reports.

The Marion County Sheriff’s Office said deputies were called to the rest stop on southbound Interstate 75 after the baby was found in a women’s restroom.

“It could have been horrible! It was cold, it was damp, it’s on a cement floor — there’s no telling how long he could have made it,” Lt. Todd Spicher told WESH2. The station reported that an out-of-town couple called 911.

“Thank God for those folks,” Spicher said.

Spicher told the station that deputies believe there was about an hour difference between when the baby was born and when he was found.

In a Facebook post, the sheriff’s office said the newborn was taken to an area hospital and was in stable condition.

Deputies also used the incident to remind everyone of Florida’s “Safe Haven” law, which allows parents to leave their unharmed newborn babies, who are not more than one week old, at any hospital, emergency medical services station or with a firefighter at any fire station.

Anyone who may have information on the newborn baby boy left at the rest stop is asked to call Detective Billy Burleson at 352-368-3542 or Crime Stoppers of Marion County at 352-368-STOP.

U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) statistics show that more than 700,000 children are referred to child protective agencies as a result of abuse or neglect in the U.S. each year. According to Purva Grover, M.D., a pediatric emergency physician at Cleveland Clinic Children’s, child abuse is something that unfortunately pediatricians and emergency room physicians are always on the lookout for, but parents need to know the warning signs of physical abuse too, especially when their children are left in the care of others.

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