Recently in Portland, Oregon, a homeless woman lost her newborn baby just one day after giving birth. It died after a raging ice storm tore through the city.
Portland pollice officers responded to a call on January 9 about a homeless woman who was walking barefooted through the icy streets with a newborn baby. That day was about 32 degrees and an ice storm had hit the city the day before.
Once officers arrived, they learned that the baby was born just hours before the 911 call in a homeless encampment. Although the baby did seem have been born without any complications, the ice storm was a huge factor. According to the Willamette Week, officers were texting each other about the baby, and it seemed that it was still alive. But with time being critical and getting the baby to a hospital would take longer than usual due to the icy roads, the baby would not make it.
Two pediatrics attempted to rescue the baby in an emergency room at the Oregon Health and Science University hospital. The attempt last 25 minutes and was unsuccessful. The doctors told the Oregon state medical examiner that the baby was viable, and was born premature at only 32 weeks of pregnancy, making it about a month premature.
The pediatric physicians — Dr. Sarah Blackmon and Dr. David Sheridan — both told Portland police child abuse detective Robert Harley that the baby wasn’t stillborn, though Oregon state medical examiner Dr. Karin Gunson, who performed the autopsy, came to that conclusion in her official report.
The mother of the newborn baby was described as “mentally ill,” after an officer had interviewed her. She was unable to answer any simple questions. The officer asked where she was from and where the baby was born, all she could said is “by miracle of immaculate conception.”
It is required under state law, for officers to investigate the baby’s death, if it died due to exposure. But, that wouldn’t be the case if the baby was stillborn. So far police officers are waiting on a cause of death to be determined.