Clearwater police reviewed surveillance video Friday, hoping to determine who left a newborn outside the front door of a firehouse that morning. The baby was dead by the time a firefighter found it.
Investigators said the baby girl was discovered at the station on Sky Harbor Drive by a firefighter at who had walked outside to get the newspaper at about 7:30 a.m. Hours later, police still had several unanswered questions.
"What time was the baby left? Who left the baby and why did they not alert firefighters that the baby was there?" said Elizabeth Watts, spokesperson for the Clearwater Police Department, adding the child is likely less than a day old and still had the umbilical cord attached.
Detectives aren't yet sure whether the baby was dead when her parents abandoned her or if the cold overnight temperatures played a part.
"This is a newborn infant girl who was left outside in cold temperatures and we don't know what condition that baby was left in," Watts said.
Investigators said had the parents handed the baby to a firefighter, they might have been protected from prosecution by Florida's Safe Haven law.
Neighbors said they're stunned the parents didn't do that.
"It was horrible. Absolutely horrible," said Sue Lafour, who lives at Sky Harbor Estates, a retirement community next to the fire station. "Apparently she thought there was something she could do. She dropped it off at the fire station. Other things have happened where the baby was fine. This was just very unfortunate circumstances."
"It's a tragic occurrence because because it's people should not have to be afraid to go ahead and turn it in," said Mike Scott, who also lives at Sky Harbor Estates. "We're hoping that nobody else would make the same tragic mistake."
Investigators said they're reviewing surveillance video from a Target department store across the street and are hoping to turn up some leads.
Police are waiting for the autopsy results to determine the baby's cause of death.
LINK: Read Florida's safe haven infant law - http://safehaven.tv/states/florida/Florida_Safe_Haven_Law.pdf
FOX 13 / WTVT-TV
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