Abandoned newborn left outside was beaten to death, ME says

CHICAGO (WLS) -- Police are investigating the death of a baby girl who was found outside an apartment building in Chicago's Uptown neighborhood, about a block from Weiss Memorial Hospital.

The death was ruled a homicide after the Cook County Medical Examiner said she died of blunt force trauma to the head.

Investigators said the infant was discovered near West Eastwood and North Clarendon avenues around 11:45 p.m. Wednesday. Sources close to the investigation said she was found in a patch of grass near a dumpster and that there was evidence of "embryonic" fluid nearby.

She was rushed to Weiss, where she was pronounced dead.

"We're all in shock, because we don't know. This is a family building, a family community. It's something we don't do. There's a church down the street. There's a hospital down the street. It don't make no sense," one neighbor said.

Police took photos of the scene and searched for more evidence Thursday morning. Sources said there are three cameras at the apartment complex.

Alice Nelson has lived in the building for more than a decade. Nelson said when she heard what happened, her thoughts immediately went to the baby's mother.

"I wanted to come down here and see if I knew anybody, because I think, daughter had a baby or got scared, panicked because you know a mother says if you have a baby you have to take care of the responsibility," Nelson said.

Illinois' safe haven laws allows the parents of unharmed newborns up to 30 days old to hand them over to staff at hospitals, police stations and other designated safe haven sites with no questions asked and without fear of prosecution.

Dawn Geras, the founder of the Save Abandoned Babies Foundation, an organization that educates the public about the law, says this is the second baby in eight days to be abandoned.

"If we could save one baby, it would be worth it. And instead, today, I'm sitting here feeling responsible for one more baby's death," Geras said.

Because security cameras may not have been a position to capture who abandoned the baby, police also went to a nearby school that had a security camera that may have been in a position to capture who abandoned the baby. People on site said that camera does not work.
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