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Police locate mother of newborn reported abandoned in box in Calgary alley


CALGARY — A newborn baby girl who was reported as having been abandoned in a back alley is completely healthy and her mother is receiving the support she needs, police said Friday.

Staff Sgt. John Guigon of the Calgary Police Service said officers received a call Thursday from a resident in the city's southeast, who said she had found the infant in a box with a blanket over top of it while out walking her dog.

Guigon said the baby, who is only two or three days old, was taken to hospital and given a clean bill of health.

"We actually deployed half of our unit, 12 detectives, who got onto it fairly fast. We found out relatively quickly that the little girl, who was very healthy, wasn't showing any signs of having actually been abandoned," Guigon, who is with the child abuse unit, said in an interview with The Canadian Press.

He said a child would not be likely to survive more than two hours outside in current weather conditions.

"Our investigation certainly is still in its beginning stages, but we did manage to identify the mother, and we were able to get her some support. She's doing well."

The investigation posed some challenges given the novel coronavirus pandemic, he said.

"Our focus was attempting to find the scene (and) locate witnesses, which in this pandemic atmosphere was a lot of work. There's not a lot of people walking around doing things right now," he said.

"Even businesses are shut down. Getting video for example of the community was really difficult."

At this point, Guigon said, it's doubtful that there will be any criminal charges laid against the mother.

"I think this is a case where you have a person in emotional distress and potentially experiencing a mental-health crisis."

Guigon said police will consult with prosecutors once the investigation is complete.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published March 20, 2020

— Follow @BillGraveland on Twitter

Bill Graveland, The Canadian Press

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