Police get tips on mom of baby found in toilet

GREENVILLE, S.C. (AP) — A newborn baby abandoned in the toilet after his mother delivered him in an arena bathroom was getting better Tuesday as police searched for clues to the woman’s identity.

Scores of locals were calling with tips about who the mother could be and offers to adopt the child, who had been in critical condition late Friday when a cleaning crew pulled him from the toilet bowl.

“The baby is in stable and improving condition,” said Department of Social Services spokeswoman Marilyn Matheus.

Investigators were scouring security video tapes from the arena that hosted a circus Friday night. They were asking for help from those who know someone who had been pregnant but no longer seemed to be, said Sgt. Jason Rampey of the Greenville Police.

“We’ve gotten a number of tips,” about the identity of the woman who apparently delivered the 6-pound boy in a women’s restroom, Rampey said. “We are following up on them as they come in.”

The baby was suffering Friday night from hypothermia, which an expert said is one of the biggest risks for babies born away from medical care. The condition could lead to infection or breathing problems if not treated quickly.

“When a baby is moist and has exposure of its skin to the air, it will lose heat very rapidly,” said Dr. Christopher Robinson, a fetal and maternal medicine professor at the Medical University of South Carolina in Charleston.

An untreated new mother could suffer bleeding from unseen cuts in the birth canal. Her mental health is also a concern.

“Here we probably have a frightened mother who may have poor coping skills and may have a lack of social support, and she’s at real risk for depression at this point,” Robinson said. “Obviously this is a person who is in a very difficult social sitiation and may be very frightened and may not totally be aware of what has happened at the time.”

Rampey said the infant was admitted to Greenville Memorial Hospital in critical condition. Evidence in the women’s bathroom indicated the baby was born there.

Rampey said officials put out a plea for help from the public to help identify the mother and child after investigators searched through surveillance tapes.

The video checks were difficult because thousands of people attended the circus, he said.

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