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Child found abandoned at hospital Wandering boy, 3, had note in pocket pleading for help


Baltimore police were searching last night for the mother of a 3-year-old boy who was found wandering alone in the lobby of Sinai Hospital with a note pleading for help.

The note, found in the child's pants pocket, read: "Please take me to my daddy. Something is wrong with my mommy. I need help." A man's name was written underneath, followed by a phone number and the word "Thanks."

L Police found the man, but said he is not the child's father.

They turned the child over to the Department of Social Services.

Police said they could charge the mother with child abandonment if she is found.

"We have a little mystery here," said Northern District Sgt. Steven D. Cothern. "We think the mother left the child there hoping somebody would take him to his father."

For Sinai Hospital, it marks the third time since July that staff members have treated abandoned children or infants.

But the previous two times, they were newborn babies abandoned elsewhere and brought to Sinai for treatment.

Rebecca Hartman, a pediatric social worker at Sinai, called this case highly unusual, saying that by the time a child turns 3, the mother usually knows how to give proper care and has formed a strong emotional bond.

"I've been a social worker for 25 years and I've never seen a 3-year-old child abandoned like this," Hartman said. "We're used to newborns."

A hospital staff worker found the child about 1: 40 p.m. yesterday near a stairwell just off the main lobby. He had no identification, but had a bag full of children's clothing and training diapers.

Hartman said the boy didn't appear frightened. "I was struck by the fact he wasn't," she said, adding that he was in good health and was "dressed appropriately for the weather" with a flannel shirt and jeans.

The child also was described as well-nourished and cared for, but active and excitable -- which Hartman said is normal for a 3-year-old.

"He didn't really ask for his mommy that much," she said. "He wasn't able to give us any identifiable information."

Police said they called the number on the note and spoke to the man, who was able to give them the child's name and information about his mother.

Pub Date: 12/03/96

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