A newborn baby was found in the trunk of a car in the parking lot of an Illinois Presbyterian Church Sunday Oct. 23.
According to the Chicago Tribune, church elder Bob Song found a green reusable shopping bag placed upon the trunk of his car with a teddy bear inside. Assuming someone had just misplaced it, the man brought the bag inside and left it on a church folding table hoping the rightful owner would claim it.
The bag sat unattended in the foyer of Gospel Presbyterian Church located at 210 South Plum Grove Road in Schaumburg, Illinois for 30 minutes until churchgoers heard faint whimpering.
Song looked inside and immediately called authorities after removing the stuffed animal and found a 7-pound Asian newborn swaddled in an orange bath towel. He told the Chicago Tribune: “The baby girl opened her eyes and looked at us. She’s a really pretty girl.”
According to Schaumburg police, the baby appears to be healthy and authorities are working toward gathering information about the whereabouts of the child’s mother and more details in general.
Song said the baby’s umbilical cord was still attached. Hospital officials informed the police that it's likely the child was born outside of a hospital. However, she appeared to be carried to full term.
Once the baby has been released from the hospital, state welfare officials will take custody of the abandoned child.
Illinois's Safe Haven law allows parents to abandon their children at hospitals, police stations, fire stations and emergency medical facilities without prosecution. However, churches are not included on the list of approved locations.
Police are urging anyone with information about the child or her mother to call Schaumburg police at 847 – 882 – 3534.
"First and foremost we want to make sure that she's healthy, both physically and mentally," said Schaumburg Police Sgt. John Nebl. "We also want to make sure that she was not coerced or forced to abandon the baby. So we definitely want to speak to mom."
Church officials say there are some members who are interested in adopting the baby.
Pastor Don Shin told ABC News,"People expect the church is a safe haven. Church people willingly help the needy. That's why they put the baby here. Maybe they cannot take care of the baby."