Young mother fabricated story about finding abandoned baby after birth, police source says
Chris Fox, CTV News Toronto
Published Tuesday, January 16, 2018 11:20AM EST
Last Updated Wednesday, January 17, 2018 11:15AM EST
A woman who gave birth to a baby in a North York home on Tuesday morning fabricated a story about finding it abandoned behind a nearby plaza, a police source tells CP24.
Police initially said that the baby boy was spotted by a couple in a covered walkway behind a plaza near Keele Street and Lawrence Avenue at around 11 a.m.
Police said they were told the couple placed the baby in a hoodie and took him to a nearby home before calling 9-1-1.
That story, however, has since been debunked.
According to the police source that spoke with CP24, investigators have determined that the baby’s mother had kept her pregnancy a secret from her family and gave birth to the baby alone inside a home on Redberry Parkway on Tuesday morning.
The source said the woman, believed to be under the age of 20, called police as soon as she gave birth and made up the story about finding the baby behind the plaza.
The baby, which still had his umbilical cord, was taken to Humber Regional Hospital via emergency run and was initially listed in serious but stable condition, though his condition was later downgraded to critical. The source told CP24 that it is their understanding that the woman received no medical care throughout her pregnancy.
“Right now the most important thing is to make sure that this baby gets the care that it needs to survive,” Const. David Hopkinson told CP24 earlier on Tuesday morning. “That is the only thing the officers will be concentrating on (right now). We will have plenty of time to investigate once that is done.”
Speaking with CTV News Toronto, the woman’s family said the woman is their 19-year-old niece who was visiting from Korea. They said she had been staying with them for the past four months and had no idea she was pregnant.
“Her parents are not here,” the family member, who did not provide her name, said. “I haven’t talked to her (since this happened).”
According to Hopkinson, the mother was located by police on Tuesday afternoon. He said that police are getting her “the medical care she needs.”
The source who spoke with CP24 said that the mother is not likely to face criminal charges.
The source said that the woman was visiting family at the Redberry Parkway home at the time of the birth.
CP24’s cameras captured the woman, dressed in sweat pants and a red jacket, being escorted out of the home at around 1:45 p.m. and being placed into the back of an awaiting ambulance.
The woman was not in handcuffs, though she was being escorted by multiple police officers.
The area around the plaza was cordoned off for most of the day but police cleared the scene at around 2 p.m., shortly after the woman was taken into custody.
A worker at one dry cleaning business with a door facing onto the walkway where the baby was falsely reported to be found previously told CP24 that investigators reviewed surveillance footage but did not see any baby being left in the walkway.
The Children’s Aid Society is awaiting instructions from police and will attend Humber River Hospital, where the baby is receiving treatment, once notified.
At that point, the CAS will formally “apprehend” the baby.
“Ensuring the safety of the child has to be the primary concern.” Children’s Aid Society of Toronto CEO David Rivard told CP24. “If the mother is listening please come forward. We will do all we can to support you and ensure the child remains safe.”
Police previously said that the baby was crying when it was first transported to hospital.