Monday, September 22, 2014

Mother of dead infant found in trash charged with neglect

CAPS reminds the public that Indiana's Safe Haven law allows parents to anonymously leave unwanted infants at any hospital, police station or fire station.
Posted on July 17, 2013 at 1:00 a.m. | Updated on July 17, 2013 at 5:36 p.m.

ELKHART — A Granger woman arrested Monday on a preliminary charge of feticide has been formally charged.

Purvi Patel, 32, is charged with neglect of a dependent, a Class A felony. She faces up to 50 years in prison if convicted. Her bond has been set at $100,000.

According to a news release from the St. Joseph County Prosecutor’s office, staff at St. Joseph Regional Medical Center contacted police on Saturday, July 13, when a woman sought treatment at the hospital after giving birth. There was no sign of the infant.

Investigators later found the baby in a trash container behind Moe’s Southwest Grill at the University Crossing Shopping Center in Mishawaka.

In the wake of the incident, Child and Parent Services reminds Hoosiers that Indiana’s Safe Haven law allows another option for desperate parents.

The Indiana Safe Haven Law allows an adult to give up custody of a child less than 45 days old at any Indiana emergency room, fire station or police station without fear of arrest or prosecution.

“I think it’s really important for the word to be out there for parents who may find themselves in that moment of desperation,” CAPS president and CEO Candy Yoder said. “They don’t have to harm the chid. They can give the child to a safe place and don’t get charged. The baby is safe and cared for and will always be.”

Children taken to safe haven locations are examined and given any necessary medical treatment before they are taken into the custody of the Indiana Department of Child Services to be placed with a foster parent.

According to Elkhart Truth reporting partner WNDU-TV, two safe haven drops were recorded in Indiana in the 2012 fiscal year, both at a Vigo County hospital.

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