A 13-year-old girl left her newborn baby wrapped in a blanket on the front stoop of a teacher's home in Baker Saturday morning, said Baker Police Chief Carl Dunn.
The baby boy was still attached to the umbilical cord when police showed up to the house to take the baby to a hospital, Dunn said Monday.
"(She) couldn't think of what to do with the baby, so (she) left it at the teacher's door," Dunn said. The girl was not identified and Dunn said at this point they are not expecting to make any arrests, though their investigation remains ongoing.
Dunn said the baby was healthy and weighed 5 pounds 13 ounces.
"We're looking at a frightened 13-year-old, and she really didn't know what to do," Dunn said. "She chose (what) she thought would be safe for the baby."
The 13-year-old knocked on the door to the teacher's home before leaving, Dunn said. He did not know where the teacher taught or if the girl was ever one of the teacher's students.
The 13-year-old's parents had no idea she was pregnant, Dunn said. She gave birth alone in a bedroom.
Dunn said his officers have interviewed the boy who the girl identified as the father of the baby, though they have not confirmed that with a paternity test. The boy is also 13 years old.
Dunn said police have handed future decisions about the baby's welfare over to the Department of Children and Families.
"We're going to let them decide what's best for the baby from here," he said.
Department of Children and Families' spokeswoman Catherine Heitman confirmed their agency has received a report about the incident.
Heitman could not comment further on this specific case due to state confidentiality laws, but she explained what proceedings are typical in an infant abandonment case.
In matters such as these, she said the agency will usually investigate the case, often jointly with law enforcement. The findings and recommendations from the investigation regarding the safety of the child will be presented in court to determine custody.
This incident came to light as the Department of Children and Families launched an online "safe haven" facility locator, a new tool that maps the approved locations where parents can safely, legally abandon their baby, according to Louisiana's Safe Haven law.
Under the law, parents can anonymously leave their baby up to the age of 60 days with an employee at an approved facility, typically a hospital, fire station or police station, and as long as the baby has not been abused or neglected, the parent is not legally liable and no questions are asked. Heitman said the law and the new tool work to "avoid abandonment and save lives."
Though the girl did not leave her baby at a safe haven facility, at this point investigators believe she did what she could to bring her baby somewhere safe, Dunn said.