A dead newborn was found dumped in a snow-covered duffel bag outside a Chicago fire station over the weekend, officials said.
Crews only made the grim discovery at about 5 a.m. Saturday when they went outside to start shoveling the snow at the Near North Side fire station, the Chicago Sun-Times reported.
“They were in and out so much that morning that no one heard the doorbell,” Chicago Fire Department spokesman Larry Langford said.
Authorities don’t know how long the baby boy was outside in the freezing temperatures — or whether he was alive when he was left there.
Langford said the location where the baby was left is used as an air supply maintenance facility, which means crews are often out servicing supplies at other firehouses.
Cops are still trying to obtain surveillance footage from the area to determine who left the infant.
Under state law, infants less than 30 days old can be handed over to safe haven sites — like fire stations — with no questions asked.
The firehouse where the baby was found is a designated save haven.
But the fire spokesman said that for the safe haven law to work, babies needed to be “passed person-to-person” — and not dumped outside.
“We’re trying to make it clear that you have to make contact. Ringing a bell is not making contact. You have to physically see someone and hand the child over,” Langford said.
“If the person left the child there, and we don’t recommend it, and called 911 to say the child is there, somebody would’ve been dispatched right there.”
The newborn’s cause of death has not yet been determined after the autopsy was deemed inconclusive.
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