Pasadena Police and the L.A. County Coroner’s office on Friday were investigating the death of a newborn baby girl found in the women’s’ restroom at Memorial Park on Thursday night – a heartbreaking scene that left first-responders shaken, city spokesperson Lisa Derderian said.
Some details of the tragedy were beginning to emerge on Friday afternoon, but police were still seeking the public’s help.
Lt. Anthony Russo, the Pasadena Police watch commander on duty Friday afternoon, told Pasadena Now that there were “no visible signs of trauma’’ to the baby, and that she appeared to be a full-term newborn.
It was not known if the baby had been born in the restroom or had been transported there after her birth, Russo said.
Derderian, meanwhile, said authorities also were concerned for the health of the mother, who almost certainly requires medical attention.
In addition, Derderian made a point to say that Pasadena fire stations are designated as “safe havens” for the surrender of newborn infants whose parents might not be able to care for them.
Maintenance workers discovered the girl in a stall of the women’s restroom around 10:10 Thursday night and immediately called police and paramedics.
Arriving paramedics confirmed the infant was dead, officials said. Police canvassed the area for potential evidence and witnesses and were still investigating Friday.
Area security cameras were also being combed, Russo said.
In addition, police reached out to area hospitals to check if any had treated a woman who had recently given birth, but as of Friday “no woman … with postpartum-type medical requirements’’ had turned up, Russo said.
Russo said that when first-responders arrived, they found the baby lying on toilet paper, though he added, “I don’t know that it was manufactured into a bed, so I don’t want to paint a picture of what that is.’’
He did not know if the baby was clothed.
Memorial Park is known as a location where homeless people gather, but Russo had no information about whether the baby’s mother was homeless.
He did say the mother was “a woman clearly in distress.’’
“The coroner’s investigation, when those results come back, will likely give us more information related to the cause, manner and time of death.’’
Pasadena Police are urging anyone with information to call the Pasadena Police at (626) 744-4241.
Or, you may report information anonymously by calling “Crime Stoppers” by dialing (800) 222-TIPS (8477), use your smartphone by downloading the “P3 Tips” Mobile APP on Google Play or the Apple App Store or by using the website http://lacrimestoppers.org.
A “Safe Haven” surrender is when a parent (or other person having lawful custody of a minor 72 hours old or younger) voluntarily surrenders physical custody to any firefighter on duty at a Pasadena fire station.
Under certain circumstances, they may do so discreetly without fear of being prosecuted for child abandonment. The firefighters assess the infant for any immediate medical needs and then transport the infant to a local hospital.