TAMPA — An abandoned a newborn baby was found in the University area on Thursday, according to the Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office.
A passerby found the baby boy wrapped in a red towel near the intersection of N 18th Street and E 143rd Avenue at about 5:30 p.m., said sheriff’s Maj. Frank Losat.
The baby may be just 18-hours-old, Losat said.
The woman who found the infant picked up the child and took him to a neighbor’s house. Then they took the child to nearby Florida Hospital Tampa on E Fletcher Avenue.
The infant was reported to be in critical condition, Losat said. There is a chance that the baby could die.
Whoever abandoned the baby did not have to do so, the major said.
Under Florida’s Safe Haven Law, anyone who is unable or unwilling to care for their newborn up to the age of 7-days-old can leave the infant with the employee of any hospital, fire department or emergency medical facility in the state.
That parent is not required to identify themselves and no questions will be asked, the law states, so long as the infant shows no care of abuse.
"For some reason someone chose to do this when they could have brought the baby to any fire station or law enforcement station," Losat said. "They could have even stopped a deputy on the side of the street."
Deputies are not trying to identify the infant and parents. Anyone with information about this case is asked to call the Sheriff’s Office at (813) 247-8200, or send an anonymous tip through the HCSOSheriff smartphone app.