German baby abandoned in suitcase

BERLIN (AP) — A day-old girl was dressed neatly in a sweater, wrapped in a sleeping bag, zipped into a suitcase and left near a hotel in Hamburg, police said Wednesday as they launched a search for her mother.

Police said a passer-by alerted the porter of the hotel to the unattended luggage on Tuesday. Hotel security workers partially opened the small, black suitcase, but only saw clothes. They stored it in the hotel’s luggage room.

Later Tuesday a hotel porter heard whimpering coming from the suitcase. He opened it, found the baby and alerted police.

Hamburg police said a homicide squad is investigating the case because the baby had been abandoned and could have easily died. The infant was being cared for at a nearby hospital and doctors said she was healthy, according to police. However, she was underweight at only 4.85 pounds and 17.72 inches long.

“We have been in contact with the passer-by who found the baby, but he could not provide any further information that would have led us to the mother,” police spokeswoman Karina Sadowsky said. “We’re still asking people in Hamburg to come forward and contact us if they have any knowledge about the case.”

Police officers were searching the train station in Hamburg with dogs.

Doctors at Altona Pediatric Hospital examined the baby girl and said the umbilical cord of the baby had only been tied with a thin thread which most likely means that the mother gave birth without medical help, the daily newspaper Bild reported on its Website.

“The child could have easily suffocated or — even though it was well-dressed — frozen to death,” Axel von Wense, the head of the hospital’s newborn ward, told Bild.

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