A week after a newborn baby was found cold and abandoned in a southwest Charlotte McDonald's, police say many of their leads are drying up as they search for the boy's parents.
The infant, thought to be two or three hours old at the time, was found about 9:15 a.m. in the restaurant. Witnesses told police a man carried an infant wrapped in blankets into the women's restroom.
Officers later released pictures of the man who brought the baby into the restaurant, but Detective Mike Davis, the lead investigator on the case, said officers were “hoping to generate more leads” with the image, which he says is “not really a good picture.”
And many other leads, including calls to the Crime Stoppers hot line, have come up empty, said Davis, who encouraged anyone with information to call his desk phone at 704-336-4209.
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Davis said he's still holding out hope that the mother will come forward.
If she doesn't, the Mecklenburg Department of Social Services will begin thinking about adoption, though there's no timeframe for when that would begin or how long that would take, said Tabitha Carnes, a DSS spokeswoman.
For now, the child has been released from the hospital and is in DSS custody.
It's still unclear if the birth parents would face charges for abandoning the child. North Carolina has a broad safe surrender law – the birth parent can essentially leave the baby with any responsible adult. That doesn't have to happen at a certain place, like a police or fire station, as other states require.
But authorities say it's dangerous to leave a baby in a public place, hoping it will be found, and the law tries to remove some of the fear in surrendering a baby.
“All (the man) needed to do was hand that child over to a responsible adult,” said Tabitha Carnes, who said one of the most troubling things about the abandonment was that the baby was left alone. “All (the man) had to do was walk into that McDonald's and leave that child with someone eating an Egg McMuffin.”