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Woman finds newborn left on sand at Hawaii beach

Associated Press
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View of Sandy Beach Park from the Halona Blowhole, Hawaii

HONOLULU (AP) — A baby girl was abandoned and found crying in the sand at a Hawaii beach soon after she was born, human services officials said Monday.

The full-term, 8-pound newborn was "abandoned immediately after birth," state Department of Human Services Director Patricia McManaman said.

A woman parked at Sandy Beach in east Honolulu sometime between 11 p.m. Sunday and midnight heard several people screaming, police spokeswoman Michelle Yu said. A few minutes later the screaming stopped and the woman heard a baby crying.

She walked toward the ocean and saw an infant on the sand. The woman took the baby to a hospital. Police are investigating the case as endangering the welfare of a minor and child abandonment.

The baby, who had been found naked, was doing well and drinking formula at the Queen's Medical Center, McManaman said. "We're just very grateful this child is alive and doing well," she said.

If no one comes forward to claim the child, the Department of Human Services will file a petition this week with family court, asking for custody. A hearing will be held by Monday. If no family is identified, the state will ask the court for permission to release a photo of the infant on Monday, McManaman said.

In 2007, Hawaii became the 48th state with a baby safe haven law, said state Rep. John Mizuno. The law provides immunity from prosecution for leaving an unharmed newborn within 72 hours of birth at a fire department, police station or hospital or with emergency services.

No one has taken advantage of the law since it was enacted, McManaman said. The baby safe haven hotline is 800-494-3991.

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Follow Jennifer Sinco Kelleher at http://www.twitter.com/jenhapa.

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