The mother of a newborn baby found abandoned in a Merced trash bin early Thursday has been identified as a 13-year-old local girl, the Police Department confirmed Friday.
Capt. Tom Trindad said police located the mother Friday afternoon.
“Her medical concerns have been taken care of and she’s safe,” he said.
Trindad said the young teen has been turned over to Child Protective Services, the same agency that will assume custody of her daughter when the infant is released from the hospital.
“This individual has ... admitted to detectives that she is the mother of the abandoned child,” Trindad said. “Investigators are still talking with the juvenile regarding her pregnancy and the details surrounding the birth.”
The infant continued to recover Friday at an area hospital and reportedly was “doing well,” officers said.
Police said once the infant is released from the hospital, which could be as early as this weekend, she will be placed in the care of CPS and turned over to a foster family, pending placement in a permanent home.
The child was found just before 6 a.m. Thursday in a trash bin in a parking lot at the Sunnyside Apartment complex in the 900 block of D Street in south Merced.
Jorge Miranda was looking in the bin for bottles and cans to recycle when he spotted the newborn wrapped in a towel amid the trash.
Miranda called out for help.
Jimmy Alvarez heard his calls and went outside, pulling the shirt off his back to wrap the baby. Alvarez then took the infant inside his apartment, where his wife, Annette, tried to keep her warm until help arrived.
Alvarez and his wife broke down in tears Friday when they learned the girl’s mother had been found. Alvarez confirmed he knew the girl and her family.
Alvarez said his family hopes to adopt the infant. Although he said he was “shocked” to learn that he knows the infant’s mother, he and his wife had suspicions.
“I’d seen her and wondered if she was (pregnant), and then she didn’t look pregnant anymore, but I wasn’t sure. She’s young and you don’t want to (say anything) because of her privacy,” Alvarez said.
“I just don’t understand why she did that. She could have just given the child to us, and we’d have contacted the police and gone through the proper channels. At least (the baby) wouldn’t have ended up in the dumpster,” he said.
Annette Alavarez buried her face in her hands, her shoulders shaking with emotion. “I’m just putting this all together; my mind is still racing,” she said. “I just bonded with (the infant); I held her against me like a mother, just trying to get her warm.”
Police said it’s too early to know whether any criminal charges may be filed.
Bob McLaughlin, spokesman for Mercy Medical Center, said the hospital has received numerous calls from people wanting to make donations or inquire about adoption. He said all such inquires are being referred to Merced County Human Services.
The county has been accepting donations on the child’s behalf.