Police in Arizona are investigating after a newborn was found abandoned in a shopping cart in a grocery store parking lot.
The baby was found in a parking lot of a Food City grocery store in Tempe, Arizona, at around 8 p.m. on June 4, reports WFTS. Tempe police say a passerby spotted the baby in a backpack, which was sitting in a shopping cart, and went inside to tell a store manager. The manger promptly called police.
The baby girl was reportedly wrapped in a blanket and placed inside of the backpack.
The newborn was rushed to a nearby hospital and was found to be in good health.
Police say the baby appears to have been born on the same day and still had part of her umbilical cord attached.
"We know the baby was abandoned but to every action, there is a story behind it," said Detective Lily Duran. "We want to know that [story] because we don't know the circumstances behind this."
The baby was left roughly 50 feet from a safe haven location, Tempe's Fire Station 1, which is across the street from Food City, according to KPHO.
"There's a certain amount of frustration that all they had to do was walk 50 feet away to the fire station, give us the child, no questions asked. We'd have taken care of that baby," said Paul Nies, assistant chief of the Tempe Fire Medical Rescue Department.
Food City's parent company, Basha's Family of Stores, shared a statement about the incident:
This is a tragic situation but we’re thankful that the baby was found healthy. Everyone involved reacted swiftly with the needs of the child as the top priority. We are committed to the safety and well-being of our shoppers and their families. This matter is currently under investigation by the Tempe Police Department.
Readers shared their thoughts on the incident on the MommyPage Facebook page.
"The harsh comments on here get me," one reader commented. "This could have been a scared teenage girl. The baby was left wrapped in a blanket in a shopping cart at a grocery store. I am guessing this mother (assuming that's who left the child) wanted the baby to be found and to be ok. The mother needs to be treated to make sure she is ok. She could be suffering from post partum and was afraid of hurting the child or could be in an abusive situation. There are so many scenarios. I thank God this baby was found and is safe."
"This is exactly why safe haven sites should be pointed out in schools and well known everywhere possible," another reader commented. "This poor woman probably didn't know what to do and was scared. She should be found immediately and be checked for post partum depression and other stuff. Glad the baby was found."