Megan Udinski, FISM News
The Louisiana police and fire department successfully rescued an abandoned baby last week after an hours-long manhunt.
On March 15, the child’s mother arrived at the Harding Road fire station seeking medical help. A Baton Rouge Fire Department (BRFD) spokesperson explained that the morning after the woman had been transferred to the hospital for treatment, they learned she had an infant.
The fire department reached out to the woman’s family inquiring about the child and were told the infant had been with his mother when she left her apartment to go to the fire station. Fearing the unknown and concerned about where the child had spent the previously cold night, a massive search by firefighters, police, and helicopter ensued.
EMS spokesperson Mike Chustz commented, “The timing didn’t give us a lot of hope, but the baby was tough.” Due to temperatures dipping below 50 degrees, EMS feared the baby could suffer from hypothermia. However, Chustz remarked that when they found the baby he “didn’t even cry” and was in good spirits.
The Baton Rouge Police Department (BRPD) helicopter spotted the infant outside a church on Plank Road after the mother helped narrow down the location. After the child was found, the BRPD announced in a Facebook post, “The infant was taken to a local hospital for precautionary medical treatment….No charges are pending at this point in time. This investigation remains ongoing.”
According to BRPD spokesman Lt. Don Coppola, due to the mother’s medical issues, she is currently not facing charges over the incident. Louisiana has a “safe-haven” law provision that allows parents to legally abandon their babies if they feel unable to care for them at designated places such as hospitals, fire stations, and EMS outposts. The Department of Child and Family Services specifies that this law only applies to infants two months or younger.
Mayor Broome released a statement March 16 saying, “The Lord guided your efforts today. Should anyone be experiencing a mental health crisis, organizations like Capital Area Human Services are available to the public.”
The little boy, Niguel Jackson, is reportedly back safe with relatives. His grandmother told the Louisiana local news station, WAFB, “He is so amazing…so sweet and kind.”
In a world where there is one discouraging news story after another, the story of Niguel’s rescue is one full of collaboration, hope, and life.