Newborn baby found dead in trash can at Applebee’s restaurant after woman gave birth in its bathroom
IRVING, TEXAS: Police in suburban Dallas are investigating after a newborn baby was found dead in a trash can at an Applebee’s restaurant in Irving.
The tragic discovery was made after officers responded to an unconscious person call at the Applebee's Restaurant at 1901 N. Belt Line Rd. at 4:47 pm on Friday, July 26, according to a press release by the Irving Police Department.
On arrival, they located a newborn child deceased inside a trash can in the restroom. Police said the infant was birthed in the restroom and placed in the trash can by the mother, who then left the location.
The child's body was found approximately 30 minutes later by employees tasked with cleaning the restroom, who then notified authorities about the situation.
It is a situation that could have been avoided, considering Texas, like every other state in the country, has a 'Baby Safe Haven' law that allows parents to hand over their infant without fear of arrest or prosecution as long as the baby has not been harmed or abused.
In Texas, it's called the Baby Moses Law. A statement on the Department of State Health Services website states that the law "gives parents who are unable to care for their child a safe and legal choice to leave their infant with an employee at a designated safe place—a hospital, freestanding emergency medical care facility, fire station, or emergency medical services (EMS) station."
The law guarantees that the parents' identity will remain confidential and that the baby will receive medical care and be placed with an emergency provider, on the condition that the child is 60-days-old or younger.
According to KTVT, the Applebee's restaurant where the infant was found this last week was even near a couple of places that are "safe baby sites."
"Just two more exits down 183 is Baylor Hospital," said Robert Reeves of the IPD. "Very, very close proximity to the restaurant. This is just a senseless thing that occurred today."
President of the Applebee’s franchise, Chris Dharod, said they were "deeply saddened" with the death and that they were "working with emergency personnel and local law enforcement to support their investigation."
It is still unclear whether or not the infant was stillborn. Investigators are working on several leads and the investigation is still on.
Anyone with further information on this case has been advised to contact the Irving Police Department at (972) 273-1010 and reference case number 19-16759. Tips may also be submitted to [email protected].