Investigation begins into dead baby found in trash can
First an incident of a 14-year-old mother who had an infant die for the second time in less than a year.
Now, according to investigators, a 20-year-old mother leaves her infant in a trash can where the newborn girl dies.
Greg Blackmon, an investigator with the Child Death Team, says a 20-year-old mother was transported to the hospital with pregnancy complications. He says when she arrived at the hospital, the mother had already given birth and later told investigators she left the baby in a trash can outside of her residence.
He says prenatal care was not administered because no one knew that the 20-year-old was pregnant.
"We'll have a Child Death meeting tomorrow (Tuesday) with all of the professionals involved in the case and we'll investigate from that stand point from what we're going to do with our next steps going forward," says Blackmon. He says a final autopsy report on the infant should be available later in the week.
Blackmon says the recent incidents of young mothers and their deceased infants raising concern about the lack of communication among the community.
"Talk to the child and make sure everything is going good because ultimately we have a child now deceased and like I was saying we have a similar case we're still working on where we have two kids who are actually deceased," says Blackmon. "We really just need to educate the community and be more involved, and we need more involvement from the community because this child was walking around ... we got to have parents, they've got to be involved in their kid's life."
Some local mothers agree, saying young people need an adult they can rely on when they need to talk about serious issues, such as pregnancy.
"Sometimes kids have a lot of pressure. They don't feel like they have anybody that they can talk to or they don't feel they have the resources they need to handle their situations," says one mother with a 16-year-old daughter. "There are people that can't have kids that would want kids. Like I said, a trash can? That's a little bit beyond comprehension right there."
Blackmon says parents especially need to discuss adult decisions with their children, such as sex and raising a child.
"If you are going to participate in sex, you've got to be protected because that's what could happen: You could bring a child into this world. When you bring a child into the world, we treat you like an adult so that comes with criminal charges could be made because of poor decisions because we've got to ultimately look at that child," says Blackmon.
According to the Dougherty County Department of Family and Children's Services (DFCS), if a mother does not want her newborn, she can either give it to adoption or utilize the Safe Place for Newborns Act.
The Safe Place for Newborns Act was signed into law by the Georgia General Assembly in 2002, allowing women to go to a hospital with their newborn and, in confidence, relinquish their rights to the child.
"It is designed just as to what recently happened, to avoid injuries or death to a newborn," says Kimberly Smith with DFCS. "We definitely uphold confidentiality in terms of a parent's decision to be able to relinquish their rights to their children. We definitely have resources in this community and across the state and the United States that is wanting children."
Stay connected to FOX 31 News and MySouthwestGa.com for the latest details in the recent case as they are made available.