Baby left in stroller at Chicago Archdiocese

May 13, 2011 9:55:08 AM PDT
A 9-month-old girl was abandoned on the doorstep of the Chicago Archdiocese headquarters in the Gold Coast neighborhood.

The baby was left on the doorstep in the 800-block of North Rush Thursday afternoon. She was reportedly wearing dirty clothing and in a dirty stroller and holding a filthy bottle.

The baby is in the custody of the Department of Children and Family Services. She was treated and released from Children's Memorial Hospital.

Archdiocese administrative assistant Wendy Budzynski was outside taking a break Thursday about 4:30 p.m. when she saw a man push a stroller up to the Archdiocese of Chicago stairs on Rush Street. She says the man kneeled down, touched the baby and then left.

"I walked around the corner and came back, and the baby was by himself. He was nowhere to be found," Budzynski said.

A spokesperson for the church says surveillance video shows the man abandoning the child. He's described by Archdiocese workers as a stocky African-American man that is about 6 feet 2 inches tall, 200 pounds and wearing a grey T-shirt with some grey in his hair.

Archdiocese of Chicago Clerk Natarsha Price also saw the baby.

"She's a little girl, African-American, wearing a purple dress with some leggings and orange. She looks like a nice, little, happy baby. She was comfortable. She wasn't scared or anything," Price said.

Under the baby's stroller, Archdiocese workers say there were five diapers and a prescription with the girl's name, which may help lead detectives to the parents.

"I was very emotional afterwards, just a sad day," Budzynski said.

The church does not qualify as a safe haven to leave a baby under Illinois law, plus the law only allows parents to leave children no older than 30 days at police stations, fire stations and hospitals.

As of late Friday morning, police said they didn't yet have a copy of the surveillance video. DCFS says for now the child will go into foster care or with a relative if one can be found.

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