NEW HAVEN, Conn. (WTNH) — A 24-year-old Connecticut woman has been arrested after an 8-month-old girl was found abandoned alive in a dumpster outside of an apartment building Monday afternoon.
The baby was transported to Yale New Haven Children’s hospital suffering from severe burns on both hands but is in stable condition. Police also recovered a pink infant car seat from the dumpster.
Around 2 p.m., officers responded to the Presidential Gardens apartment complex in Newhallville, Connecticut, after a maintenance worker found the baby.
The child’s mother was located and interviewed by police.
Andiana Velez, whom police believe to be the child’s babysitter, was arrested on allegations she assaulted the 21-year-old mother earlier in the day.
She was charged with risk of injury to a child, assault second degree and reckless endangerment first degree.
Detectives say Velez put the baby in the dumpster, but they have not yet determined who is responsible for the child’s injuries. Police and the state Department of Children and Families (DCF) are continuing to investigate.
Velez is being held in lieu of $250,000 bail.
Neighbors and community leaders said they are shocked and horrified by the discovery.
A woman who did not want to appear on camera said, “Total disbelief that someone could put a baby in a dumpster with burnt hands and just leave them. I’m glad the person that found him or her was there and did the right thing. I’m just so devastated right now.”
Co-Ward Chair for Ward 21, Raymond Jackson said, “People don’t have to do anything like this. There’s better places to leave a baby than in a dumpster, you know? If people need help, then all they have to do is reach out. We are here, and I’m just shook. What if I would’ve found that baby? I wouldn’t know what to think. That’s the lowest you can ever go.”