Toddler found alone in South Side apartment entryway

March 22, 2014 (CHICAGO)

The baby is doing well Saturday night after being discovered in a building in the 8200 block of South Justine.

It was only when family and friends saw the baby's picture on the news that realized what had happened, and that is when they contacted police, and how investigators identified the child.

Saturday night, those same friends and family are relieved that the baby is doing okay, but confused as to why her mother did what she did.

Even as police have now identified the abandoned baby girl, her mother remains unaccounted for and the toddler in Department of Child and Family Services custody.

Speaking to ABC7 Eyewitness News from her West Englewood home Saturday night, the baby's godmother says they were all together Friday night, but when the mother came back shortly after midnight she was alone.

"We end up seeing her and I tried to blow the horn to get her. She end up running away from us like she did something bad," Tasha Hassel said.

The 14-month-old, say police, was abandoned in the hallway of an apartment building on the 8200 block of South Justine. She was found at around 11:30 p.m. by area resident Thomas Freeman, when an unidentified woman alerted him of the child's location.

"I looked and thought maybe she was saying maybe somebody left the baby by the gate, but when I turned back she kept walking, she never stopped," Freeman said. "A baby, are you sure? She said, 'yeah in the hallway,' and kept walking."

The baby was found wrapped in a blanket with a bag of diapers and a sippy cup next to her. Distraught and referring to her as "her baby" several times, Hassel says the toddler's mother left her in her care shortly after birth and only came back into the picture a few months ago. They both still lived with her.

Saturday she spent hours at the police station hoping to get the child back in her care. She also appealed to the missing mother to come forward.

"Just turn yourself in. You know Tashay did not deserve that. Go do what you got to do and get some help because you know you need help," Hassel said.

The baby's godmother said that the building where the child was abandoned was a previous address of theirs, a place where the mother still has several acquaintances, but police say they are still trying to locate the mother.

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