Police: Woman leaves newborn at Via Christi Hospital St. Joseph

Wichita police are investigating the case of a woman who left a local hospital against medical advice, leaving her newborn in the intensive care unit.

The 24-year-old woman left Via Christi Hospital St. Joseph shortly before noon Tuesday despite doctors telling her she needed to remain, Lt. Doug Nolte said. Her newborn child, who is in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit, was placed into protective custody by police.

Authorities were still looking for the mother on Wednesday, said Lt. Jeff Weible of the Exploited and Missing Child Unit.

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. Weible said this case may well meet those provisions.

“We’re still trying to figure out the causes and reasons” for the woman’s actions, he said.

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