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A 4-month-old infant nearly froze to death after his mother allegedly abandoned him in a forested area in southeast Michigan.
The “cold and wet” baby was found lying face down on the banks of an Orion Township creek near Pontiac, Michigan on April 7th. The 4-month-old was in a “hypothermic state,” but was breathing when deputies discovered him. He was transported to St. Joseph Mercy Oakland Hospital where he was expected to be kept and observed overnight.
“Thankfully, deputies were able to determine a baby was missing, which triggered an immediate large response and search, and they were able locate the child,” Sheriff Michael Bouchard said in a statement. “Their quick work avoided what could have been an unspeakable tragedy.”
It’s unclear how long the infant may have been left outdoors. The projected low temperature for the day was 49 degrees Fahrenheit, according to local weather forecasts. The 4-month-old, who is expected to recover, is currently in the care of child protective services, according to law enforcement.
Property owners in the area first reported the incident after observing a suspicious “lone woman” hiding in the bushes in the area of Waldon and Joslyn Roads near Pontiac around 8:35 a.m. on April 7. The woman claimed she was being chased by an armed individual.
“[She] was hiding ... and ringing their doorbells,” Oakland County Sheriff’s Office said. “The residents said the woman appeared distraught and said she believed someone was chasing her with guns.”
By the time authorities arrived, the “frantic woman” had moved on, according to investigators. No other people were seen in the immediate vicinity. A local middle school later reported another sighting of the woman who was “pounding on the locked doors of the school,” law enforcement said.
The 37-year-old woman was later located by Oakland County Sheriff’s deputies. Under questioning, she allegedly admitted to having a baby boy. Detectives later noticed burrs on the Orion Township woman’s pants and became concerned for the child’s welfare. A search team was subsequently deployed to the surrounding area where the distraught woman was originally spotted by neighbors.
More than a dozen patrol cars, including a K-9 unit and drones were used to scour the area roughly 30 miles north of Detroit. Approximately 30 minutes after interviewing the unidentified Michigan mother, the woman’s 4-month-old son was found in a wet sleeper in the woods.
County authorities are seeking a warrant for the woman’s arrest on suspicion of child abuse charges. Drug charges may also be pending. Deputies suspect the woman may have been abusing prescription drugs. She’s believed to live in the area near where the 4-month-old was found. Officials haven’t disclosed her identity. No further information was immediately regarding the ongoing investigation.
A spokesperson for the Oakland County Sheriff’s Office didn’t respond to multiple requests for comment from Oxygen.com on Monday afternoon. County prosecutors were also unable to confirm if the Michigan woman had been formally charged.
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