EAST SPARTA, Ohio -- EMS workers returning from an emergency call spotted a basket on a grassy area just outside of the fire station.
Inside the basket was a newborn baby girl, who was wrapped in blankets and nestled in a white wicker basket. It was sitting next to an aluminum recycling bin, and firefighters say it was sheer luck that they found the baby before it was too late.
"It could have set there a couple of days before anyone would have know there was a baby in there," said Capt. Dan Fetters, of the East Sparta Fire Department. "For me, it was quite a shock."
The baby was cold, but breathing normally, and had a normal heart rate when she was found. Firefighters believe she may have been there for about an hour. The temperature Monday morning was about 44 degrees.
The baby was taken to Aultman Hospital and officials said that there were clear signs that she not born in a hospital. Her umbilical cord was crudely cut, and tied off with a rubber band.
Police are asking for the public's help in identifying the baby or the person or persons who left her in the basket on the grass because whoever left her did not follow Ohio's Safe Haven law, they said.
The law allows a parent to leave a newborn infant, up to 30 days old, with a medical worker at a hospital, with a medical worker at a fire department or with a peace officer at a law enforcement agency, without any legal consequences.
Ohio's Safe Haven law doesn't allow babies to be dropped off outside. Charges are possible.
If you have information about the baby or who dropped her off, you can call (330) 866-9434.