In an unsettling discovery, a fetus with its umbilical cord still attached was found in Whittier Narrows Park, South El Monte, on Friday morning. The park is situated in the 1200 block of Lerma Road, just off Merced Avenue.
Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department deputies were alerted to the situation around 8 a.m. after a passerby came across the small body next to a garbage can. According to Lieutenant Hugo Reynaga of the LA County Sheriff’s Department, the fetus appeared to be in the 6 to 7-month gestational stage and still had the placenta attached.
The fetus was determined to be a male. The surrounding area was notably clean, with no visible traces of blood, indicating that someone likely transported the premature baby to the park before leaving it there. At this time, it remains unclear whether the baby was alive prior to being found.
Authorities are emphasizing that if the baby had been born alive, the mother could have safely surrendered him at a hospital or fire station without facing legal consequences. Notably, there is a fire station located less than a mile from Whittier Narrows Park.
The sheriff’s department has deployed a bloodhound in an effort to locate the person responsible for leaving the baby in the park. While abandoning a child is a criminal offense, officials are also expressing concern for the well-being of the mother involved in this case.