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Dead infant found at Florida university campus; police investigating

Baby found Sunday night at University of Tampa
crime scene tape
Posted at 10:35 AM, Apr 29, 2024

TAMPA, Fla. — A newborn infant was abandoned in a garbage bin and found dead on a Florida university campus, police said Monday.

The Tampa Police Department said in a news release an investigation was launched to determine what happened. The infant was found Sunday night at the University of Tampa, which is adjacent to downtown.

The baby was wrapped in a towel and placed in the garbage bin, police said. The mother was found as well and taken to a hospital. Her name and the circumstances of the abandoned baby were not immediately available.

"The loss of a child is always a tragedy," said Tampa Police Chief Lee Bercaw, who noted that Florida has a "Safe Haven Law" where anyone can surrender a newborn baby seven days old or younger at a fire station, emergency medical facility or a hospital with no questions asked.

"As our department actively investigates this incident, we want all expectant mothers to know there are resources available," Bercaw said.

The university sent a text alert at 11:41 p.m. Sunday about the investigation, which centered on the McKay Hall dorm building area. That dorm houses about 160 students, according to the university website.

"There is no danger to the University community," the alert said.