‘Feel bad’: Police, community search for answers after finding abandoned baby

COEUR D’ALENE, Idaho — Police are still looking for answers after finding an abandoned baby at an apartment complex.

An alert neighbor called 911 on June 30 about the baby Coeur d’Alene police say was wrapped in a towel and left in a stroller at an apartment complex on West Hanley Avenue and North Courcelles Parkway. One neighbor who’s lived nearby for 13 years says never heard of something like this happening. Weeks later, he’s shocked there’s still so many unknowns surrounding this surrender.

“I feel bad,” said Patrick McGuire. “I’m just glad and happy to hear of the news that Idaho has that in place.”

McGuire is a father of seven, thankful that this child’s alive, and safe haven protections are out there. Safe haven laws mean parents or guardians can surrender their newborns without fear of prosecution but only if taken to a safe place.

“It has begged the question of are we ready and are we thinking about it,” said Christopher Way, the fire chief for Kootenai County Fire and Rescue.

He says this recent incident has his team on high alert. He made sure to “provide a little training to everybody to make them refocus that this could indeed happen.”

Safe surrenders can happen at fire stations, hospitals or other medical facilities. After a child is born in Idaho, you have 30 days to make a surrender. In Washington, parents have three days after birth.

“A baby is safe is that way,” McGuire added. “There’s no telling what could happen to the baby.”

The community still wants to see closure for the child and any family members still out there.

“It’s needed for the baby’s health and welfare,” McGuire said.

If you know anything about this incident, the Coeur d’Alene police want to hear from you as they work to put the pieces together. You can also download an anonymous app called CDAPDTip which will allow you to report information confidentially.

READ: CDA police still don’t know identity of abandoned baby