Friday, November 30, 2007

Grandmother, 35, Accused Of Leaving Boy On Home's Doorstep

ABINGTON, Pa. -- There has been a new development involving an abandoned baby left on an Abington Township doorstep earlier this month.
The baby's grandmother is now accused of leaving the infant out in the cold.

Baby Boy Doe" still may not have a name, but at least police said they finally know how the hours-old infant ended up on the steps of the home in Montgomery County back on the chilly evening of Nov. 8, NBC 10's Deanna Durante reported.
The newborn boy was found wearing clothes and wrapped in a blanket.

Abington police said in court papers filed Monday that those clothes were purchased by the baby's grandmother, 35-year-old Jacqueline Bethea at a Target store on Nov. 8.
It was after an anonymous tip to police that they learned the clothes and blankets found with the baby were sold at Target stores.
Court papers said police reviewed surveillance tape from that day and saw a woman buying the clothes.
Court documents also state that investigators obtained the Bank of America credit card number from the day's receipts and traced her to a home in the Frankford section of Philadelphia.

Police interviewed 35-year-old Bethea and her 17-year-old daughter. Police said in court documents that Bethea was at work, her daughter called saying she was in labor and by the time Bethea arrived home the boy had been born. Bethea's daughter had concealed her pregnancy from her mother.
The court papers said the grandmother bought clothes at the Target on Old York Road and the intention was to take the baby to Abington Memorial Hospital, which is down the street from the Target. But police said the 17-year-old and Bethea told police that they got scared and spotted a home around the corner from the hospital. They knocked on the door and left the baby outside.
According to court documents, Bethea told police, "It wasn't the intention to harm the baby. We were afraid. We didn't know what to do. We thought that we were doing the right thing at that time."
No one answered the door Monday at Bethea's home, although Durante reported that she did see people looking out the window.
The Frankford woman has been charged with endangering her newborn grandson.
Bethea was arraigned Monday morning and released on $5,000 unsecured bail. She has a court hearing scheduled for a few weeks from now.
The grandmother could have avoided charges had she gone through with leaving him at the nearby hospital. Under Pennsylvania's safe haven law, anyone may leave infants up to 28 days of age at local hospitals or health care providers.
The boy, now 3 weeks old, remains in the care of Montgomery County's Department of Children and Youth. Investigative sources told NBC 10 that they hope the child will be adopted to a good home.

do you have to see anything beyond the "35 year old grandmother" to see there was going to be a problem there.

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