Morton Grove woman arrested for abandoning newborn baby at Glenview rehab center

Cleaning staff found the baby boy inside a tied garbage bag inside a garbage can, police say
GLENVIEW, Ill. (WLS) -- A Morton Grove woman has been arrested after police said she abandoned her newborn baby at a rehabilitation center in north suburban Glenview last month.

Verna Tolentino, 40, was taken into custody Friday at the Glenview Police Station and charged with attempted first-degree murder and child abandonment, according to police.

The abandoned baby was discovered Jan. 11 in the 1500-block of Greenwood Road, according to a statement from the Glenview Police Department.

The police investigation revealed that Tolentino, who was an employee of Glenview Terrace Nursing Home, had been transported to Glenbrook Hospital by the local fire department around 12:30 p.m. that day after complaining of abdominal pain.

Witnesses said Tolentino locked herself in the bathroom at work before asking for an ambulance, according to police.

Hours later, police said cleaning staff found the baby boy inside a tied garbage bag inside a garbage can that was in the bathroom Tolentino had locked herself in.

The baby was transported to Lutheran General Hospital, where he remains in stable condition, police said.

Once the baby was found, officials said they determined Tolentino was postpartum and transferred her to Evanston Hospital's Labor and Delivery Unit.

Illinois' Safe Haven Law allows parents to leave their baby with workers at a hospital or fire station with no questions asked, as long as the baby has not been hurt and is less than 30 days old.

However, rehabilitation centers are not included under Illinois' Safe Haven Law.

Tolentino was scheduled for a bond hearing Friday at the Skokie Courthouse.

If someone you know is pregnant or has a baby they don't feel they can care for, call the 24-hour crisis hotline 888-510-BABY (2229) for confidential help. More information is available on saveabandonedbabies.org.
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