A baby boy is in good condition and is protective custody after apparently being abandoned by his mother in a wooded area near the Joslyn and Waldon roads intersection this morning.
The Oakland County Sheriff’s Office confirmed that deputies found the infant lying face down in a wooded area on the banks of an Orion Township creek. The baby was in a hypothermic state when he was found.
Deputies removed the baby’s wet sleeper and wrapped him in warm blankets before he was taken to St. Joseph Mercy for further treatment and observation.
“Thankfully, deputies were able to determine a baby was missing, which triggered an immediate large response and search, and they were able locate the child,” Sheriff Michael Bouchard said. “Their quick work avoided what could have been an unspeakable tragedy.”
The child is expected to be kept overnight at the hospital and is in the care of child protective services, Undersheriff Mike McCabe said in a media release Wednesday afternoon.
Deputies were sent to the area of Waldon and Joslyn roads at 8:35 a.m. after receiving two 911 calls from neighbors close by regarding a lone woman who was hiding in the bushes and ringing their doorbells.
The residents said the woman appeared distraught and told them she believed someone was chasing her with guns.
When deputies arrived, the woman was no longer in the area.
Staff from Waldon Middle School reported that a frantic woman was pounding on the locked doors of the school.
Deputies found the woman, a 37-year-old Orion Township resident, and began interviewing her while trying to calm her.
Despite being given some information they did not believe was accurate, they learned the woman had an infant son. They also noticed the woman had burrs on her pants, suggesting she may have been in a field or wooded area.
Deputies estimated the best location where the mother may have been and began searching in a one-mile grid between the woman’s home, the school and the neighbors who had reported the suspicious activity.
A Sheriff’s K-9 unit was also summoned to assist. In all, 13 sheriff’s patrol cars were dispatched to the area and the Sheriff’s drone and aviation unit were in route.
Thirty minutes after learning the infant was missing, deputies discovered the baby in the wooded area, cold and wet but breathing. They quickly stabilized the child with the help of Orion Township emergency medical personnel, McCabe said.
It is unclear how long the infant had been in that location.
Deputies believe the case may involve prescription drug abuse and the sheriff’s office is seeking a warrant the mother’s arrest on suspected child abuse. — J.N.