Newborn baby abandoned at Oahu’s Sandy Beach

 

A shocking discovery was made on a south shore beach overnight. A baby just hours old was found abandoned on the sand.

The child is now at the hospital and police are searching for her parents.

But this wasn’t the mother’s only option if she didn’t want the child.

Hawaii is among 48 others states that allow parents to leave their newborns at Safe Haven sites.

Such a law has been on the books since 2007, but this case is hitting a nerve that more needs to be done so new parents are aware of the option.

The sound of screams cut through the night air Sunday at Sandy Beach and startle Vincent Vanaski.

“Sounded like someone was in distress and it sounded like a female,” Vanaski said.

He was parked in his van at the beach and grabbed his flash light to go check it out.

“Saw a young female sitting at the water’s edge. I asked if the screams were coming from her and she said, ‘Yes.’ And I said, ‘Are you alright? Do you need help?’ and she said, ‘No, I cut my foot,’” Vanaski said.

Vanaski went back to his van, but another woman also heard the screams. Honolulu police say 15 minutes later she heard a baby crying.

Down near the water’s edge, she found a newborn baby on the sand, no one else in sight.

She rushed the hours-old little girl to the Queen’s Medical Center.

“Very grateful this child is alive and doing well. That’s the real focus for us at his time,” Department of Human Services Director Patricia McManaman said.

The DHS says the baby appears to have been abandoned immediately after birth, with no injuries.

Hawaii has a baby Safe Haven law that allows the parent of a newborn to leave their unharmed baby at a police station, fire station, or hospitals — no questions asked — providing immunity from prosecution.

Since 2007, when it was signed into law, not one person has taken advantage of the option.

“Had the young woman known about the law she wouldn’t have risked the opportunity to harm herself or the baby,” said Rep. John Mizuno (D) Kalihi Valley, Fort Shafter.

Rep. Mizuno championed for this law, but he believes the state is not doing enough to let people know there is an alternative to abandonment.

He wants signs, like the ones up in Massachusetts, placed at Safe Haven sites.

No one has come forward to claim the newborn baby girl.

The state will be asking for custody. If granted by the court, they want to release a photo to help identify her.

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