A day after a woman reported finding an abandoned newborn crying on a beach in Hawaii, police arrested her and revealed she’s the baby’s mother.
Police said 21-year-old Keala Simeona of Honolulu was the baby’s mother — and was later arrested for filing a false police report. Officials also said Simeona is not facing charges of abandonment or neglect at this time.
According to Police, the a woman reported hearing screams on the beach and 15 minutes later, she heard a baby crying. She found a newborn baby near the water’s edge, and no one else in sight.
She rushed the girl to a hospital, where’s she’s said to be doing well and drinking formula.
The Department of Human Services says it appears the baby was abandoned immediately after birth.
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Honolulu, HI – a woman strolling on Sandy Beach has a new found appreciation for the term “beach baby”. As the woman was at the beach late Sunday night, she heard people screaming followed by sudden quiet and then the sound of a baby. What the woman found was a new born naked baby girl abandoned in the sand.
The unnamed woman did the right thing and took the infant to the hospital where it is said to be doing well and feeding normally. The director for the state Department of Human Services said the infant is ingesting her baby formula and receiving care at Queen’s Medical Center.
Police will release a photograph of the girl on Monday if no family can be identified.
According to the Christian Post, one eye witness has come forward reporting that a woman was standing in the water hours before screaming in pain. The eye witness asked the woman if she was ok, to which she allegedly responded that she had simply cut her foot on the reef.
Patricia McManaman, the director of the Department of Human Services said if no family member steps forward to take custody of the infant, the department will file for custody. While the request for family to come forward seems peculiar, it should be noted that Hawaii has “safe haven laws” in place which allow family members to reclaim abandoned children within 72 hours with immunity for the crime of child abandonment.
“I think first and foremost, we’re happy to report that the female infant is doing quite well. She’s drinking formula, weighs approximately 8 pounds,” said McManaman.
Regardless, police are investigating the incident for possible crimes of child abandonment and child endangerment.
Jonathan Kamai, a Sandy Beach regular, told HawaiiNewsNow.com that he was glad “the child had an angel that came and helped her out.”
“It would have to be something tragic for someone to just leave their newborn here,” he added. “Just as a father, how somebody could actually just do that kind of stuff – it’s just crazy.”
The penalty for endangering the welfare of a minor is up to one year in prison.
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