Wichita police discovered a newborn baby dead in an east Wichita trash container after a 17-year-old girl told authorities she gave birth and left the infant there.
Wichita police Lt. Doug Nolte said officers found the body of a newborn girl around 11 p.m. Wednesday in a Dumpster at Eastgate Shopping Mall, 8125 E. Kellogg.
Police are calling the death “suspicious” but are awaiting a coroner’s report to determine whether the newborn was alive when she was dumped, Nolte said.
“We aren’t ruling anything now because if the baby was born as a stillborn, it won’t be a homicide,” he said.
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The mother was admitted to a Wichita hospital with severe hemorrhaging earlier Wednesday, Nolte said. Medical staff who were concerned with the unexplained bleeding questioned the teen, who admitted giving birth the previous week, he said.
The 17-year-old then said she took the infant to the mall and placed her in the trash bin, Nolte said. Police say they know when the baby was born but are not releasing her birth date at this time.
As of Friday, the mother remains in the hospital, Nolte said. Her condition is unknown.
More details are expected to be released Tuesday during the 10 a.m. public news briefing at City Hall.
Kansas has an infant safe haven law called the Newborn Infant Protection Act, which allows parents or legal guardians to surrender custody of their newborns to authorities within 45 days of birth without legal ramification. Infants who have not suffered any bodily harm may be left with on-duty employees of fire stations, city or county health departments or medical care facilities, who then contact law enforcement, according to the act.