Autopsy scheduled for newborn abandoned outside Near North Side fire station

CHICAGO (WBBM NEWSRADIO) – The Cook County medical examiner is conducting an autopsy today on a baby found dead outside a Near North Side Chicago fire station Saturday.

Police said the newborn was found at about 5 a.m. inside a duffel bag outside the fire house at Hill and Orleans streets and declared dead at the scene.
While it is a safe haven location, no one inside the fire station was notified when the child was left.

The Chicago Tribune reported that Larry Merritt, a Chicago Fire Department spokesman said a firehouse crew discovered the bag covered in snow Saturday morning when they went out to shovel.

Dawn Geras, executive chair of the Save Abandoned Babies Foundation, told CBS 2 Chicago state law allows parents to surrender newborns at hospitals, police or fire stations but they must hand over the baby to staff.

“The reason they hand the baby over is so that maybe the baby doesn’t end up frozen to death and not found,” Geras explained.

The foundation said through August in the 20 years the law has been in effect, 143 babies were safely given up while 87 were illegally abandoned, half of which died.