Tempe police have released body-camera footage of a newborn found June 4, 2017, outside a Food City store. Tempe Police Department

Tempe police have released body-camera footage from the evening of June 4, when a newborn baby girl was found abandoned in a backpack in a grocery cart outside of a Food City store

One of the two videos shows an officer walking into the store and finding the baby, who was being treated by fire crews and could be heard crying in the video. 

A manager tells the officer he brought the baby inside the store at 1338 E. Apache Blvd. after a man came into the store and told him that an abandoned newborn was in a cart outside. 

The manager tells the officer he initially thought the man said a newborn was alone in a car, but that he realized what happened when he walked outside with the man and heard the cries coming from the backpack in the grocery cart. 

The manager tells police the man who reported the abandoned baby left after showing him where the child was.

In a second body-camera video, an officer asks the manager whether he thought the man might have been the one who left the baby in the cart, and the manager says he did not suspect the man because he didn’t have the same skin tone as the newborn. 

He tells the officer that he didn’t ask for the man’s name or contact information, and that he couldn’t recall what the man’s face looked like.

“I didn’t really pay attention. My focus was on the newborn baby,” the manager tells the officer. 

The newborn’s umbilical cord was still attached when she was found, according to audio from the manager’s 911 call

Another woman interviewed by officers told them in Spanish that she had passed by the backpack in the shopping cart when she entered the grocery store but assumed the backpack had been left there by a homeless person.

The baby was taken to a nearby hospital shortly after being evaluated at the scene and was in good health, police said in June. 

Responding crews believed the baby was born one to three hours before she was found, Tempe Assistant Fire Chief Paul Nies said. 

Nies noted that Arizona law designates fire stations and hospitals as safe havens where a parent can drop off a newborn without facing criminal charges so long as the child is no older than 72 hours old.


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