ANNE ARUNDEL COUNTY, Md. — A 19-year-old woman is facing a slew of charges after police say she abandoned her newborn child in the woods.
According to Anne Arundel County Police, the child was found just after 6:15 a.m. on July 14. A concerned citizen called 911 to report the sound of a crying baby coming from a small wooded area in the 600 block of Greenway Road in Glen Burnie.
The child was taken to a nearby hospital for care.
Officers surveyed the area and claim to have found multiple items that were consistent with abandonment. Investigators canvassed the area in hopes of identifying the child's mother.
Police say 19-year-old Olivia Thompson was identified as a person of interest and later positively identified as the newborn's mother. When officers first spoke with Thompson, she was taken to a nearby hospital for help and offered crisis intervention and other county resources.
Two weeks after the child was found, Thompson was arrested and now faces a slew of charges including:
- Attempt First and Second Degree Murder, First and
- Second Degree Assault, First and Second Degree Child Abuse, Neglect of a Minor,
- Reckless Endangerment and Desertion of a Minor Child
The child is healthy and doing well, according to investigators.
Police say this tragic incident could have been safely avoided.
"The Anne Arundel County Police wants to stress to all that in Maryland, no one ever has to abandon a newborn baby," the department said in a news release. "Under the Safe Haven law, a distressed parent who is unable or unwilling to care for their infant can safely give up custody of their baby, no questions asked. Newborns can be left at hospitals or law enforcement stations."
The Safe Haven law gives a parent, or another adult with the approval of the mother, up to 10 days from birth to anonymously and safely leave a baby with a responsible adult at a designated location. Those who invoke Safe Haven are immune from civil liability or criminal prosecution provided the child is unharmed.
While Thompson has been arrested, police say the case is still active. If you have any information call the Anne Arundel County Child Abuse Unit at 410-222-4733. If people with information wish to remain anonymous they can also contact the Anne Arundel County Police Tip Line 410-222-4700 or Metro Crime Stoppers at 1-866-7LOCKUP.
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