- (Photo: Doreen Dotto/Wikimedia Commons)
A newborn has been left on a beach overnight at Sandy Beach Park in Hawaii, according to reports.
Detectives are now launching a search for the person who seemingly abandoned the baby girl, who officials have said was not injured, but is at the Queen's Medical Center being kept under observation.
Patricia McManaman, the Director of the Department of Human Services, has announced: "I think first and foremost, we're happy to report that the female infant is doing quite well. She's drinking formula, weighs approximately 8 pounds."
It is believed that the baby had been born a week or two early, and had only been delivered within the past 24 hours before being seemingly abandoned.
A 21 year old woman found the infant at the beach after hearing a baby's crying coming from the shoreline. She went to investigate and found the baby completely alone in the sand.
One local, Jonathan Kamai, a Sandy Beach regular, has said, "Just blessed that the child had an angel that came and helped her out. It would have to be something tragic for someone to just leave their newborn here. Just as a father, how somebody could actually just do that kind of stuff -- it's just crazy," according to Fox News.
According to officials, one eye witness has come forward reporting that a woman was standing in the water hours before screaming in pain. The eye witness asked the woman if she was ok, to which she allegedly responded that she had simply cut her foot on the reef.
Just a few miles away from the beach where the baby was found is Hawaii's "Baby Safe Haven," which offers protection from prosecution from anyone who surrenders an unharmed newborn within 72 hours of the child's birth to a local hospital, fire station, police station, or with emergency medical service personnel.
The 21 year old who found the baby is not being treated as a suspect at this time, officials have highlighted. If no parent or relative comes forward soon then officials will take the baby into foster custody.
The penalty for endangering the welfare of a minor is up to one year in prison.