A newborn baby found in a trashcan at about 5 a.m. Wednesday in a Santa Maria apartment complex is in good condition at Santa Barbara Cottage Hospital.
His mother, 23-year-old Juana Santo Orocio, was booked into Santa Maria Jail on counts of attempted murder and child abandonment after a hospital exam Wednesday Santa Maria Police Commander Dave Stern said.
Police received a call Wednesday morning about the 4-pound, 3.5-ounce boy, who was found in a plastic bag at 1707 North Western Ave. Santa Maria deputies located Orocio in a park near her apartment complex where the baby was found, Stern said.
“Initially we were told one of the residents found the child. … We came to find out later the person who actually claimed to have found the baby [was the mother]. He was born at about 3 a.m., and a little later, on her way to work, she ‘heard a child making noise,’ and she told another resident she had just found the baby,” Stern said.
The infant, who Cottage Hospital employees have dubbed Michael, was “profoundly hypothermic” when paramedics rescued him, hospital spokesperson Janet O’Neill said.
“He’s in good condition. We’re calling him Michael, because the nurses and doctors thought it was a strong name,” O’Neill said “He’s off oxygen, and his vital signs look good. He’s still on IV fluids and antibiotics.”
O’Neill said Michael will eventually be released into the care of the Department of Social Services.
“He is not going to stay here much longer,” she said. “The sad part is that this did not need to happen. There is a baby abandonment law in California that says a parent can drop off a newborn baby at any hospital with no repercussions or questions.”
Orocio will be arraigned today at the Santa Maria Superior Court.
-Staff Writer Ladan Moeenziai also contributed to this story.