Neighbor describes helping newborn found in trash can

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WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — The Wilmington Police Department is investigating after a baby was found in a trash can Thursday evening.

Police responded around 5 p.m. to the 3600 block of Fairview Drive, just off Carolina Beach Road. Police say a woman was walking a dog and heard the cries of a newborn coming from a trash can in a nearby church parking lot.

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The witness then called 911.

“There was a lady yelling that she needed help, that there was a baby inside of a trash bag,” said Tamara Austin, who lives in a nearby complex.

The baby, who remains alive, was taken to the hospital. Austin says she just wanted to help in any way she could.

“She was on the phone with 911 and the baby still had the umbilical cord wrapped around his neck,” she said. “It wasn’t tight, so I was able to take the umbilical cord off his neck.”

Austin says while waiting for first responders, another neighbor brought out a towel to wrap around the baby.

“I just picked the baby up and held him and just talked to him,” she said. “He was breathing, I cleared out his airways, he was breathing fine. He actually cried and at one point even grabbed my finger.”

Police say the baby is now healthy and doing well. Austin is grateful the 911 caller was in the right place at the right time.

“Thank God that she was walking her dog when she was, thank God she heard him cry and was able to bring him up here. ‘Cause she’s definitely the hero that saved his life,” Austin said.

WPD is still searching for the mother.

If you or someone you know is pregnant and feels unable to care for a baby, North Carolina has a safe surrender law.

Parents can give up a newborn up to seven days old anonymously to either a health care provider, law enforcement officer, social services worker or emergency medical personnel.