This story has been updated with a statement from the Tennessee Department of Children’s Services.
MEMPHIS, Tenn. — The Jackson, Tennessee Police Department is investigating after a newborn baby was found in an apartment complex dumpster.
According to JPD, the newborn was found at 33 Carver Street around 3:30 a.m. on Thursday morning. Medical personnel was able to provide life-saving care for the child on the scene. The baby was taken to Jackson-Madison County General Hospital for further treatment.
Jackson Police told WREG that it’s unknown how long the infant had been in the dumpster or the baby’s age.
Jackson Police said they have identified the child’s mother, and an investigation is underway.
The City of Jackson released the following statement:
Jackson Police are grateful the newborn baby is still alive and continues to receive medical treatment. Jackson Police in partnership with the Department of Children Services continue to investigate this disturbing incident.
The Tenessee Department of Children’s Services told us in a statement they cannot give us specific information about the case but they did note the importance of the state’s Safe Haven Law.
“We are saddened to learn of an infant discovered in an unsafe environment and, in all cases, DCS partners with law enforcement and providers to ensure the health and welfare of each child. While we are unable to release case specific information on children and families served by the Department, we can confirm there is an open investigation in this case. Additionally, it is important to highlight the Tennessee Safe Haven Law, enacted to reduce the unsafe abandonment of infants, allows mothers of newborns to surrender unharmed babies to designated facilities within two weeks of birth without fear of being prosecuted.”
The city’s mayor, Scott Conger, said they are taking steps to help mothers who may be considering abandoning their babies. It has approved a contract with Safe Haven Baby Boxes and the first one will be installed in April.
For more information on designated safe havens in Tennessee and where to find one, click here.