Newborn found dead in Eagle River park; police locate mother

bbrasch@adn.comOctober 15, 2013 

A dead newborn child was found wrapped in a towel in an Eagle River park Tuesday morning, according to Anchorage police.

Police said they received a call from someone walking in the park at 9:34 a.m. reporting a newborn who wasn't breathing in Turner Park. The park is in a residential area west of the Eagle River town center, between the Glenn Highway and Old Glenn Highway.

As the day unfolded, police reported Tuesday night that the mother of the baby had been identified after she called for medical assistance.

Jennifer Castro, police spokeswoman, said late Tuesday that the woman was "currently receiving medical treatment." She said no arrests have been made or charges filed.

Police said they couldn't release the woman's name and age or the child's sex and race because of the ongoing investigation.

Before the identification of the mother, Police Sgt. Cindi Stanton said police thought the baby wasn't born at a hospital or under the supervision of a medical professional.

"We don't know if it was somebody hiding their pregnancy," she said.

Stanton said the baby didn't look injured externally, but was declared dead at the park.

"[Police] don't know if the child was born alive," she said.

Under state law, Stanton said, a person can surrender his or her infant at many safe locations like fire stations, hospitals and police stations, instead of a park.

At Turner Park, just eight hours after police found the newborn, children played. The park's blue slides sat between sleepy duplexes with big dogs. People strolled by and some police sat in unmarked cars in front of a few nearby homes.

Anyone with information about the incident is asked to call the Anchorage Police Department at 907-786-8900 or, to remain anonymous, Crime Stoppers at 907-561-STOP.

Reach Benjamin Brasch at bbrasch@adn.com or 257-4349. Twitter: twitter.com/ben_brasch

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