Fairbanks

Abandoned infant found in cardboard box in Fairbanks on New Year’s Eve

A newborn baby in a cardboard box was found alive after being abandoned in Fairbanks on New Year’s Eve, Alaska State Troopers said.

Troopers were notified around 2 p.m. Friday of a baby who had been found apparently abandoned at the intersection of Dolphin Way and Chena Point Avenue in Fairbanks, according to an online report from troopers.

The baby appeared to have been abandoned recently, and a note left with the infant indicated the parent was unable to take care of the child, troopers said.

Fairbanks resident Roxy Lane wrote in a post to social media on Friday night that she had found the baby by a row of mailboxes near her house. She shared a video that appeared to show a baby crying faintly beneath a pile of blankets, and the note apparently left by the baby’s family that said the infant was born that day.

“My parents and grandparents don’t have food or money to raise me. They NEVER wanted to do this to me,” the note read.

“Please take me and find me a LOVING FAMILY. My parents are begging whoever finds me,” read the note, which also said that the baby’s name was Teshawn.

The temperature in Fairbanks around the time troopers received the report of the baby abandoned outside was 1 degree with a wind chill of 12 below zero, according to the National Weather Service.

The infant was taken to Fairbanks Memorial Hospital. A hospital spokeswoman said Saturday that “the baby is doing well and very healthy.”

Under the state’s Safe Surrender of Infants Act, parents of an infant younger than 21 days can legally surrender their baby to law enforcement officers, firefighters, emergency medical services providers, many health care workers including doctors or nurses, or “any person the parent reasonably believes would keep the infant safe and provide appropriate care,” according to the Alaska Department of Health and Social Services.

In her social media post, Lane wrote that she thought the mother may not have known about the law, which went into effect relatively recently in Alaska, in 2008.

“There is always a safer, humane choice to surrender a baby and you will not get in trouble or even have to answer any difficult questions,” Lane wrote. “Take the baby to a fire station, or church, or hospital and they will take care of them.”

Lane wrote that she had been thinking about all the different circumstances that might lead a parent to leave their child, and how there may be “a whole backstory here behind closed doors.”

“I hope the mother gets the help she might need,” Lane wrote.

Officials asked anyone with information about the baby to call troopers in Fairbanks at 907-451-5100 or submit a tip anonymously through the AKTips smartphone app.

Annie Berman

Annie Berman covers health care for the Anchorage Daily News. She's a fellow with Report for America, and is a graduate of the University of California Berkeley Graduate School of Journalism. A veteran of AmeriCorps and Vista volunteer programs, she's previously reported for Mission Local and KQED in the Bay Area.

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