published Thursday, September 23rd, 2010

Abandoned baby safe; mom may be charged


by Jessie Gable

A baby boy who was abandoned Tuesday in Whitfield County, Ga., is in stable condition with good vital signs at Hamilton Medical Center, hospital officials said.

The infant was believed to be less than 12 hours old when he was found in the cab of an inoperable dump truck near a home on Northwood Circle, Sheriff Scott Chitwood said.

Investigators located a 17-year-old girl at the home who admitted the infant was hers and that she had placed him in the truck, Chitwood said.

A family member heard the infant crying and called 911, he said. No one in the girl’s family knew she was pregnant or had given birth, he said.

After a full investigation, the case will be turned over to the county’s district attorney, who will decide whether to charge the mother, Chitwood said.

Kermit McManus, district attorney for Whitfield County, said a 17-year-old in Georgia is considered an adult for all criminal charges.

While the girl cannot be charged with reckless abandonment of a child because the infant still is alive, law enforcement officials have been working with the DA to determine if any other criminal charges apply, McManus said.

He said he is considering the safe haven law of Georgia, which would have exempted the girl from any criminal charges had she taken the infant to a medical center.

According to the National Safe Haven Alliance website, a parent can leave an unwanted newborn up to seven days old at any hospital, institutional infirmary, health center or birthing center in Georgia. The parent must locate an employee to take the baby but is not required to give a name.

Contact Jessie Gable at jgable@timesfrepress.com or 423-757-6345.

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MarshaD said...

I think the DA's office needs to slow down and really consider other options than criminal prosecution. Was the young mother INTENDING to hurt the child or was she trying to hide the child from her family because they never knew she was pregnant??? While her actions were not the best for the child or for herself, I can't help but to believe she was driven by panic - not malice. Why not get her some help?!

September 23, 2010 at 1:11 p.m.
emy9002 said...

"May" Be charged? What she did to that child was so selfish. I hope she gets what she deserves. She was trying to hide it from her family, she didnt care about anyone but herself and her image and what others would think if she had a child. If anyone thinks she deserves to go unpunished for her actions then you are just as stupid as she is. I don't care how old she is, you know the difference in right and wrong by the age of 5. And what she did is inexcusable.

September 23, 2010 at 1:44 p.m.
whatever said...

Counseling would be my first choice, rather than punishment.

If she really is malicious, it'll come out, and can be addressed, if not, then why beat somebody down further? It really won't do anything to stop the problem and will just perpetuate the same thing that might have caused this in the first place.

There's a reason we got rid of the punitive Homes for Unwed Mothers. They didn't do anybody any good. They were just vile and vindictive.

September 23, 2010 at 2:03 p.m.
rolykemp said...

sometimes you need to use compassion in these cases. you dont know what kind of home life this young mother has. not all 17 year olds are adults no matter what the law says.

September 23, 2010 at 4:33 p.m.
TruthSpeaker said...

She most definitely SHOULD be charged but I imagine the argument will be that it is customary in HER country to give birth and abandon it in a dump truck. This girl new right from wrong and the latest article I just read stated the younger sister new all about her pregnancy and the birth but chose to hide it. She should be charged as well. Also, this baby was not fed in TWO freakin days. There needs to be an example set that this is not normal and there are consequences to this type behavior. I might add that this is an honor student in high school, so don't tell me she did not know better.

September 23, 2010 at 9:11 p.m.

These teenage girls know about the laws, they just choose not to use it. They don't want the child and don't want anyone else, not even the father, so they are exercising their right to choose to abort. The child is theirs to do with as they wish. How many times have you heard a mother say that she brought you into the world and she can take you out of it?

This is not uncommon. Mothers frequently would rather kill their children than give up custody to the father. Remember the South Carolina mother who drowned her children.

Now what happens? Will they try to find the father to see if he will take the child, or just place the child in foster care and order him to pay child support? http://Single_Fathers_N_Safe_Haven_Laws.Dads-House.org/

September 23, 2010 at 11:49 p.m.
latvs said...

Whoever posted the comment that "it is customary in HER country to give birth and abandon in a dump truck" should definitely avoid making such remarks. Do you even know, for a fact, that this girl is from a foreign country and the customs that such country has? It is not customary for people in ANY country to abandon children, it is circumstances and misinformation that make people do such things. As most of you commented, the answer is in giving this girl counseling/therapy rather than punishment. No one can really be sure of what made her choose to act this way.

September 26, 2010 at 11:12 p.m.
flossie said...

It is unbelievable that a family doesn't know that their 16 year old is even dating much less knows she has delivered a baby. It was by the grace of God that the baby cried so they broke down and called 911. But, can you believe that the baby is back in that family's home. The mother didn't want the baby but is seems the mother's dad wants it. I don't think the grandmother would because she has an infant herself. Is DFACS doing their job if they let the baby go back to this home? I'm sure that many couples would love to give this baby a loving christian home. Come on DFACS, think about the child's future.

October 4, 2010 at 3:08 p.m.
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