A baby has been found stuffed inside a plastic bag that was stashed beneath a bush in a residential neighborhood of Elmira, New York. The abandoned 8-month-old girl had survived in that condition for more than 72 hours, local police say.
Sisters Karen and Kayla Seals said they found the infant Tuesday after following a “suspicious” sound.
“My sister came out off the porch and went to the side to the backyard of my neighbor’s house with a stick, thinking it was a dog,” Karen Seals told local station WENY. “We thought it was a dog … and it wasn’t. It was a baby.”
The white plastic bag the sisters found the infant in was “filthy,” reported The Associated Press Wednesday. Her diaper was soiled and she had rashes on her body, Chemung County District Attorney Weeden Wetmore said.
“Her legs were just dangling in the bag. Her head was in the bag. Her whole head was covered all the way down,” Kayla Seals told WENY.
Police said they had arrested the child’s mother, 17-year-old Harriette Hoyt, on a charge of attempted murder.
Hoyt, who lives 20 miles from Elmira in the Pennsylvania borough of Sayre, is accused of leaving her baby in the plastic bag after visiting a friend in the area on Saturday.
The sisters called 911 and brought the child into their home where they attempted to clean her.
“They washed up the baby as quickly as they could and did whatever they could until first responders arrived,” Elmira Police Sgt. William Solt told the Star-Gazette. “They are truly heroes in this incident,”
The baby was dehydrated but was otherwise in stable condition when she was found, according to the news outlet. She is expected to make a full recovery, police said.
The infant’s mother was arraigned on Tuesday and is being held on $250,000 cash bail or $500,000 bond, WKRG reported.