Teen who abandoned baby could face charges

The satellite dish near where a teen mother left her newborn baby. (July 28, 2014)

LINCOLN TOWNSHIP, Mich. (WOOD) — The teen mother who abandoned a newborn baby girl on the side of the road north of White Cloud spoke publicly for the first time Tuesday to 24 Hour News 8.

The baby was discovered the morning of July 28 on the side of Marion Road near Diamond Lake in Newaygo County’s Lincoln Township. Jeff Kopp said he was walking his dog along the dirt road when the dog started to sniff around a satellite dish about three feet from the road. Kopp originally thought the dog had found a rabbit, and realized it was a baby only after she moved.

The baby’s mother is an area teen. 24 Hour News 8 has decided not to identify the girl or show precisely where she lives because she is a minor.

When she answered the door of her home Tuesday, the teen was soft-spoken. She shared little information and answered questions briefly with “yes,” “no,” and “I don’t know.”

Court documents show that when investigators went to the teen’s house during their investigation, a detective noted seeing stains on the living room carpet consistent with bloody footprints. The teen’s father was cleaning the bathroom when investigators arrived.

The teen initially denied ever being pregnant. But in a later interview, she admitted that she delivered the baby outside near a fire pit. She told a detective she didn’t know what to do with the baby, so she placed her on the ground near the satellite dish.

According to court documents, the baby was there for approximately five hours before Kopp and his dog found her. The temperature was around 55 degrees.

The baby remains in foster care, court records show. The teen mother said she didn’t know when authorities would determine what would happen next to the baby.

Tuesday, the teen stood by her assertion that 15-year-old Tomas Coxsen is the father, though he has denied that.

Coxsen took a paternity test Monday. The results are expected back for a few weeks. No one else has been asked to take a paternity test.

The teen mother could face criminal charges. The prosecutor is not looking at charges for anyone else at this time.

Michigan has a “safe haven” law that allows a person to anonymously surrender an infant within 72 hours of birth to an Emergency Service Provider, like a hospital, or police or fire station.



Michigan’s Safe Delivery of Newborns Act

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