When police on St. Croix made a routine traffic stop the officer discovered that the driver had a newborn baby girl in her purse instead of in the required rear-facing car seat.
“I thought I saw everything in my years of police work but this is unbelievable,” Deputy Police Chief Christopher Howell said in a press release issued Tuesday.
The incident unfolded about 9:15 a.m. Tuesday on La Grande Princess Road near the basketball court. A patrol officer stopped a white Ford Ranger because it had a cracked windshield. While requesting the driver's license and registration, the officer heard a baby cry. Not seeing a baby in the car, the officer asked the driver the baby’s location. The driver unzipped a black purse that was on the front passenger seat next to her and revealed a newborn baby girl.
The officer immediately called 911 and his supervisor. The officer conducted a field interview with the driver who she did not have any prenatal care and the child has yet to see a doctor.
“She told me she birthed the baby at home by herself a week ago,” the officer said.
Emergency Medical Technicians arrived on the scene and took the infant to Juan F. Luis Hospital for evaluation. Representatives from the Department of Human Services were also called to interview the mother.
Other police officers brought a new car seat to the mother at the hospital.
This case has been turned over to the Department of Human Services. The mother may still face criminal charges, Howell said.
Police Department spokesman Melody Rames said because the woman was not arrested, she did not have her age.