ORION CHARTER TOWNSHIP, Mich. — An abandoned 4-month-old baby boy is in good condition after he was found in a hypothermic state lying face down in a wooded area on the banks of a Michigan creek.
The saga that led to the infant ultimately being found began on Wednesday morning when deputies in Oakland County, Michigan, which is near Detroit, received two 911 calls about a woman who was hiding in bushes and ringing their doorbells.
The residents said the woman "appeared distraught and said she believed someone was chasing her with guns," according to the Oakland County Sheriff's Office.
But when deputies arrived, the woman was gone. Then staff from nearby Waldon Middle School reported a frantic woman was pounding on the school's doors, which were locked.
When deputies found the 37-year-old Orion Township woman they discovered she had an infant son. They also noticed she had burrs on her pants, suggesting she might have been in a field or wooded area.
Authorities said they estimated where the mother may have been and began searching in a one-mile grid between the woman's home, the school and the neighbors who had initially reported the woman.
"This morning I witnessed firsthand the drama unfold as we learned of a missing four-month-old baby," Orion Township Supervisor Chris Barnett said in a Facebook post applauding the entire community banding together to find the infant. "Township staff sprung into action printing maps and heading to the search area to assist deputies. Fire and EMS personnel responded in record time."
A K-9 unit, 13 patrol cars, as well as the sheriff’s drone and aviation unit, were all sent to the area to help find the infant.
Thirty minutes after learning the infant was missing, deputies discovered him in a wooded area near Waldon and Joslyn roads.
The baby was cold and wet but still breathing. Authorities said it's unclear how long the baby boy had been there.
“Thankfully, deputies were able to determine a baby was missing, which triggered an immediate large response and search, and they were able locate the child,” Sheriff Michael Bouchard said. “Their quick work avoided what could have been an unspeakable tragedy.”
The sheriff's office said deputies removed the baby's wet sleeper and wrapped it in warm blankets. They also worked to stabilize the baby, who was in a hypothermic state when he was found.
"On a personal level, this was nothing short of a miracle," Barnett said in his Facebook post. "The fact that we had two back-to-back unseasonably warm days might be the only reason baby Carter is still with us after laying in the muddy creek edge for several hours. #OrionMiracle."
The infant was taken to St. Joseph Mercy Hospital for further treatment and observation. According to the sheriff's office, the child is expected to be kept overnight at the hospital and is in the care of child protective services.
Deputies believe the case may involve prescription drug abuse. Authorities are working on getting a warrant for the mother’s arrest for suspected child abuse.