Infant left on the side of the road, mom charged with neglect

Jul 6, 2015 at 1:30 p.m. ET

It's unthinkable acts like this that really make you question if there's any good left in humanity.

Neighbors in a Pasadena, Maryland, neighborhood discovered an infant crying in a car seat over the Fourth of July weekend. FOX 59 News reports spilled formula was found on the road — along with scuff marks on the side of the car seat.

The Anne Arundel County Police Department posted a picture of the baby girl on the department's Facebook page that received over 31,000 shares. "We're most fortunate that the child is not harmed and appears to be in good condition," said Lt. T.J. Smith, director of media relations.


Sandra McClary contacted police after the social media alert, claiming to be the infant's mother. McClary alleges she had no clue regarding her 6-week-old's whereabouts, as the baby's father had her during the night in question. The 26-year-old mother has been arrested and charged with reckless endangerment and child neglect. Investigators now believe Sandra was in the area where her daughter was found and left her on the side of the road.

Police have yet to charge McClary with child abuse or abandonment, as they're still looking into the matter. "We need to make sure that there wasn't any foul play involved, and that this person wasn't a victim of a crime herself," Lt. Smith points out. "We're trying to figure that out."

Under the Maryland Safe Haven Law, any parent unwilling to care for their child can give up custody without question. There's a 10-day window from the child's birth that enables parents and those with the mother's permission to safely leave the newborn at a noted hospital or law enforcement location. According to Maryland Department of Human Resources, "A person who invokes Safe Haven is immune from civil liability or criminal prosecution provided the child is unharmed."

It's truly sad to think a parent wouldn't want their child — let alone think it's OK to toss them somewhere. Thank goodness neighbors heard this child's screams. Who knows if the father was involved, if this was a domestic incident or why the mother would leave her newborn on the side of the road?

While there are plenty of questions that need to be answered, at least the baby is safe. Let’s hope that this family gets whatever help and/or intervention they need to make sure that it stays that way.

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