21-year-old mother arrested after newborn baby girl abandoned in hallway in Yonkers

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Thursday, February 8, 2024
Mother arrested after newborn found abandoned in Yonkers
The mother is facing one felony charge of child abandonment.

YONKERS, New York (WABC) -- Police in Yonkers have arrested the mother of a baby left abandoned inside an apartment building on Tuesday.

Jaqueline Marleni Perez, 21, was charged with a felony count of abandonment of a child.

The newborn baby girl was found crying in the hallway of a building on Chestnut Street around 8:30 p.m.

A good Samaritan wrapped the infant in a blanket. The baby was taken to a local hospital for further evaluation but was said to be stable.

"She is being treated for obviously being abandoned, left in a building, being left in the cold and some other issues, but at this time we believe she is in stable condition," said Yonkers Police Department First Deputy Chief Joseph Monaco.

After reviewing hours of surveillance camera footage and interviewing witnesses, investigators were able to identify the child's mother and find her.

Police say Marleni Perez gave birth to the child by herself earlier that day around 3:30 p.m. before dressing the baby in a T-shirt, wrapping her in a blanket, and placing her in the hallway around 7:30 p.m.

She was taken to the hospital for evaluation and was later released.

Under state law, parents can legally abandon a newborn up to 30 days old without fear of prosecution if it is done at a designated safe location.

Police Commissioner Christopher Sapienza said there are over six Yonkers Police buildings and 12 Yonkers Fire Department buildings in the city that are all considered Safe Haven locations. He said there are also several hospitals and other locations that are designated as appropriate places for parents to legally surrender custody of infants under 30 days old.

"This is a poignant reminder that help, regardless of situation, is available to all of us - don't be afraid to reach out," said Yonkers Mayor Mike Spano.

The child remains stable and is in the custody of Child Protective Services.

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Jim Dolan has the latest.


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