LOWELL, Ind. (WLS) -- Authorities are investigating after a 9-year-old girl found a newborn baby while playing in her family's backyard in rural Lowell, Indiana, Monday morning.
Lake County Sheriff John Buncich said it is "a miracle" that the infant survived, and called the young girl who found her a "guardian angel."
"She knew right away this was an infant and she ran to the house and summoned her mother, and her mother ran out right away and realized exactly what she had found. And the mother took the infant home until the officers and medics arrived," Buncich said.
Buncich said the full-term baby girl was discovered wrapped in a black towel in the 18000-block of White Oak Avenue around 10:45 a.m. Monday. The child was discovered about 100 yards from the closest road.
The infant was described as Caucasian with brownish-blonde hair. Her umbilical cord and placenta were still attached. Investigators believe the child had been abandoned for several hours in the sun, and had possibly been left overnight.
The baby is being treated at St. Anthony Hospital in Crown Point, where she is expected to make a full recovery. After a complete examination, Buncich said the child will be turned over to a foster home on Tuesday.
The Lake County Sheriff's Department is continuing to search for the newborn's mother. Anyone with information is asked to contact the Lake County Sheriff's Office at 1-800-750-2746.
Indiana, like Illinois, allows mothers to turn over their newborns to locations like police stations, fire departments and hospitals with no questions asked.
Indiana girl, 9, finds abandoned newborn while playing in backyard