After reviewing the details, the Queens District Attorney announced that the woman who abandoned her newborn boy in a church's nativity scene will not face charges. Queens DA Richard Brown said, "The mother followed the spirit of New York's 'Safe Haven' law."
The 5.2 pound, 17-inch baby was discovered by the custodian of the Holy Child Jesus Church in Richmond Hill on Monday afternoon. Jose Moran said he had been sweeping when, "I hear a child crying. I didn’t make much of it. I thought there was somebody in the church with a child... I looked around and didn’t see anyone. That got me curious. I followed the cries. I walked to the little nativity home we had installed inside the church ... I couldn’t believe my eyes. The baby was wrapped in towels. He still had his umbilical cord. He was next to the Virgin (Mary).”
Father Christopher Heanue said of the baby's appearance, "I was shocked, and yet really moved by it. You know, the church is meant to be home for those in need.”
New York's safe haven law allows babies up to 30 days old to be abandoned without criminal prosecution in police or fire stations or churches, but someone must be notified the baby is there. Authorities tracked down the mother, and Brown said, "It appears that the mother, in this case, felt her newborn child would be found safely in the church and chose to place the baby in the manger because it was the warmest place in the church, and further she returned the following morning to make certain that the baby had been found."
Video from the neighborhood shows the mother, carrying the baby, going into a store and buying the towels the baby was wrapped in. WCBS 2 reports, "The store clerk told CBS2 another customer seen in the video asked the mother if she was holding a baby, and the mother said yes."
The church has been flooded with offers from families who want to adopt the baby. One parishioner told the Daily News, “The mother did the right thing by leaving (the baby) at the church if she didn’t want him. I’m glad he’s safe. I hope he finds a really good family, someone who can really take care of the baby.”
The parish secretary added that the Administration for Children's Services is handling the baby's future, "It’s nice to know that there are so many people willing to adopt the child."