JERSEY CITY, N.J. (CBSNewYork) — A 39-year-old woman is accused of abandoning her premature newborn baby in Jersey City.
Police believe Rosibel Lanza gave birth to the baby boy about 11 or 12 weeks early in her home on Saturday, prosecutors said.
She then allegedly put the newborn in a plastic shopping bag with paper towels and toilet paper, investigators said.
The bag was tied and left behind an apartment building on Kensington Avenue, prosecutors said.
The hospital reports the infant weighed just less than three pounds when he was found, but he is now doing well, gaining weight and breathing on his own, CBS 2 reported.
Lanza was arrested late Wednesday night and charged with second-degree endangering the welfare of a child and child abuse.
She appeared in court via a closed circuit television on Thursday and offered only her name as her mother and brother wept.
Lanza’s family told CBS 2’s Christine Sloan that they did not even know she was pregnant.
“Nobody noticed. Not even me,” Lanza’s brother Melvin said.
The family did not think that the factory worker was surprised by her pregnancy.
The baby was found by a 12-year-old boy who was playing with his friends in a desolate area near Lanza’s building.
“I heard the baby crying and me and my friends thought the baby was an animal until I opened the bag and saw the arm of the baby and then told the super and we opened the rest of it,” Jaiden Washington said.
The wife of building superintendent saved the child.
“She took the baby’s head out. Cleared out the throat, blew into it. She grabbed his hand and he closed his finger on her hand,” Arturo Rivas said.
If convicted, Lanza faces up to 10 years in prison. Her family said that they will not try to gain custody of the boy who is being referred to as Moses by the nurses caring for him, but they will be there for Rosibel.
“Let’s pray for her,” Melvin said.
New Jersey has a safe haven law which allows mothers to drop newborns off at hospitals and police stations without being prosecuted.
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