Infant left in Orlando apartment complex with note; police searching for mom

By Sarah Panko, Reporter
Last Updated: Thursday, October 12, 2017, 7:06 PM EDT

Orlando Police say a newborn baby girl was abandoned last Friday at about 4:20 p.m. at Willow Key Apartments on Arnold Palmer Drive. 

  • Baby abandoned in apartment building breezeway
  • Note said take the child to fire station for safe haven
  • Orlando police are looking for baby's mother

A note shows the person who left the child knew something about Florida's Safe Haven law, but didn't take advantage of it.

​Police say the baby was found in a breezeway, was fully clothed and was found with a note that included a plea that the child be brought to a fire station for safe haven. 

They say the baby is in good health.

"It's sad. A child does not ask to be in this world, so just to drop it off when there’s definitely places to go to drop a baby off safely -- but here in a complex? Yeah, no," said Amanda Barnett, a resident at Willow Key Apartments. 

Florida law allows parents to leave a child who is 7 days old or younger at a 24/7 staffed fire station or to a hospital anonymously, without fear of prosecution.

Oviedo Fire Rescue Chief Lars White is a chapter coordinator for A Safe Haven for Newborns, a non-profit that is dedicated to saving newborns. 

"I know it is the first abandonment this year," White said. "We’ve had 16 babies saved this year in the state of Florida at either hospitals or fire stations. We’ve had, 268 to date, saved statewide since the law was enacted."

"When they bring a baby to a fire station or hospital we no longer consider it an abandonment, it’s a surrendered infant," said White. 

A Safe Haven for Newborns has a confidential 24/7 helpline at 1-877-767-2229. More information on the Safe Haven for Newborns website.

Police say they're trying to locate the baby's mother and say there is a $1,000 reward. Police say they have concerns for her safety. Anyone with information is asked to call Crimeline at 1-800-423-TIPS (8477).