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N4T Investigators: No charges in case of baby abandoned at TUS - KVOA | KVOA.com | Tucson, Arizona

N4T Investigators: No charges in case of baby abandoned at Tucson airport

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It has now been five months since a newborn was found inside a restroom at the Tucson International Airport. But, whatever happened to that baby boy or, his mom, who authorities say abandoned him there? The News 4 Tucson Investigators wanted to find out.

It was a case that drew national attention. Now, the News 4 Tucson Investigators have discovered, the case is officially closed, according to the Tucson Airport Authority.

Footage from the Tucson airport showed what police say is the woman they believe left the baby boy back on January 14th. Investigators say she had given birth in one restroom, then went to another to clean up the child before leaving him in a third restroom outside a rental car facility. The boy was found along with a hand written note that read:

"Please help me, my mom had no idea she was pregnant. She is unable and unfit to take care of me. Please get me to the authorities so they can find me a good home. I just want what is best for him and that is not me. Please. I'm sorry."

The Arizona Department of Child Safety took custody of the boy, as Tucson International Airport authorities searched for nearly a month to find the woman who left him.

Now, the News 4 Tucson Investigators have learned authorities did find her, but they are not commenting on how. The Pima County Attorney's office told the News 4 Tucson Investigators, even though the Tucson International Airport is not a safe haven, prosecutors are declining prosecution in the case due to: "insufficient evidence to prove a case beyond a reasonable doubt." Citing confidentiality, the Arizona Department of Child Safety also refused to comment on the status of the boy.

The case has drawn attention to Arizona's Safe Baby Haven law, which allows parents to leave their newborn at fire stations, hospitals, and other select locations, with no questions asked, as long as there are no signs of abuse, and as long as it's within the first 72-hours of birth. 

"The biggest thing with the law is there are no questions asked. It's the anonymity that goes behind the law," said Damien Johnson, executive director of the Arizona Safe Baby Haven Foundation.

Johnson also told the News 4 Tucson Investigators, the organization had worked with the Tucson Airport fire department prior to the incident, to help educate their staff on what to do in case a parent decides to relinquish their newborn at the fire station. It's something parents have been able to do since the law went into effect more than 15 years ago.

"We've only seen 36 relinquishment since 2001, but that's 36 lives that have been saved from this law. Across the United States we're up to almost 4,0000 newborns that have been relinquished under Safe Haven laws across all 50 states," Johnson told the News 4 Tucson Investigators.  

First-responders also told the News 4 Tucson Investigators, even though the law says "no questions asked" when it comes to a parent relinquishing their newborn, it does not mean it's OK to leave a baby completely unattended...

"It is not acceptable just to leave a child on the doorstep and leave without making any contact with us. That's not how the law is set-up," Captain Brian Keeley, with Northwest Fire District told the News 4 Tucson Investigators. 

Captain Keeley also stressed, the person who relinquishes a newborn may choose to voluntarily provide health information about the child.

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