LIKE so many children in Dubbo, cousins Alyssa Ferguson, 12, and Kaitlyn Rose, 11, were having fun riding their bikes on the street about 11am on Sunday.
Then they heard a baby cry. They rode towards the sound to a spot under a window of a nearby flat, where they found an abandoned newborn, who has since been named Sunday April.
Yesterday, as the baby was being cared for at Dubbo Base Hospital, police appealed for the mother to come forward.
Inspector Matt Goodwin of the Orana Local Area Command said the search had been extended to health and welfare agencies in a bid to identify the mother.
“It really is a concern for her safety and the ongoing welfare of the child,” he said.
A hospital spokeswoman said Sunday was a full-term baby, very healthy and feeding well. “The nurses said she was a bit cold [when she was found] but she was very healthy.” Police said doctors described Sunday as being of white or European appearance, and that she was born between 6am and 9am.
Alyssa's mother, Kerrianne Howarth, recounted what happened after her daughter and niece made their discovery. “They ran back as fast as they could, they just flew in the door and said 'there is a baby over there',” Ms Howarth said.
She and her eldest daughter “ran over there, and picked her up and put the blanket around her tighter, and brought her inside and rang triple-0”.
“She wasn't distressed when I found her. The hospital later told me that she did have a bit of hypothermia. Her body temp was low because the cement over there would have been really cold.
“I think the [biggest] shock was that she was a newborn,” Ms Howarth said. “On the way to hospital I nearly started crying. I just couldn't believe it. The little baby was gorgeous.”
Ms Howarth's eldest daughter, Alex, had heard the cries earlier that morning. “I heard the baby crying first. My nephew and
I were having breakfast and
I heard a baby crying and thought, 'Oh someone is obviously not attending to their baby',” Alex said.
Mrs Howarth said: “It wasn't until the kids got on their bikes that we discovered where the cries had come from. So she was over there for two hours before anyone noticed her.”