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Questions linger after newborn baby found in Converse shoe box outside Orange County apartment

Baby boy taken to Orlando hospital

ORLANDO, Fla. – An investigation continues Monday after a baby boy was left in a shoe box at an Orange County apartment complex.

The newborn was found inside a Converse shoe box Saturday afternoon at the Fusion Apartments on Silver Star Road near Hiawassee Road. The complex was formerly known as Bella Vista Place.

Deputies said the infant is in Florida Department of Children and Families custody and going to be OK.

Sarah Nazario told News 6 she was waiting on a package to arrive when she found the baby on a doorstep across the hall and called 911.

“He was just a brand new, fresh baby,” she said. “I open my door, and I saw the baby. I saw him in a box. His little foot was sticking out of the box. I saw him wiggle his foot -- it’s a real baby, he’s alive, I need to do something about it, so that’s when I called 911.”

Fire officials took the newborn to a hospital, where the boy was listed in good condition, according to the Orange County Sheriff’s Office.

The baby was found in front of Ariel Piner’s apartment. Piner, who’s lived there for about a month, said she found a note in the shoebox.

“It hurt my heart. Why would you do that?” she said. “The letter was basically saying, like, ‘Please take care of this child. I couldn’t take care of it.’ God is going to handle that situation. God is going to handle that.”

No arrests have been made.

Under Florida’s Safe Haven Law, anyone can take an unwanted newborn to any hospital or fire station with no questions asked and without facing criminal charges.

“The child was in good condition and is still in good condition, but thank God that Person did call 911 and turn that child in,” said Corporal Antwan Daniels from the Orange County Sheriff’s Office. “We want every child to be safe. We don’t want any children to be in harm’s way.”

In July, police say a woman left a baby outside of a different apartment complex a note was left suggesting a possible domestic violence connection.

News 6 spoke with Harbor House CEO Michelle Sperzel after the most recent incident. The nonprofit provides services to domestic violence survivors and families. Sperzel said there options for new mothers.

“If someone is dropping off their baby they don’t know what options they have out there," Sperzel said. “So another option is reaching out to helping agencies like Harbor House so you can go through what is available for me and my family.”

To read more about the Harbor House and the available resources for domestic violence survivors, click here.


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