California Highway Patrol

An unidentified woman got out of her car, walked up to a man walking his dog and asked him if he would take her child

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February 13, 2019 07:45 PM

Police are searching for a woman who abandoned her newborn baby with the umbilical cord still attached in the middle of a rural road in California, PEOPLE confirms.

The baby girl, dressed only in a soiled flannel onesie, was found just after 4:30 a.m. Monday by a newspaper deliveryman along his route in a rural portion of Madera County, north of Fresno.

“It was just below 30 degrees when the baby was found,” California Highway Patrol Officer Robert Montano tells PEOPLE. “It was a very traumatic scene for everybody involved. It is something you never expect to see.”

Aurelio Fuentes Jr., a newspaper delivery man who found the child, said he saw a “bright white thing on the road” and thought it was an animal, at first. “I approached slowly next thing you know I see its red you can see the face I saw a face,” he told KFSN-TV. “It’s a baby.”

Fuentes Jr. said he immediately took the newborn inside his vehicle and called 911.

The baby girl was taken to Valley Children’s Hospital where she is “expected to make a full recovery,” Madera County Undersheriff Tyson Pogue said at a press conference on Tuesday.

Pogue said it appeared the baby was born that same night.

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Minutes before the baby was found, a man walking his dog told police that he was approached by a Hispanic woman in her 20s who was driving a small size dark blue or grey SUV. The woman, who was described as 5’2” tall and 120 pounds and wearing a hoodie type sweatshirt, allegedly got out of her car, walked up to him and asked him if he would take her child.

“She wasn’t overly distraught but she was asking for help,” Pogue said.

The man refused and suggested she take the baby to a nearby fire station and children’s hospital. He told police she drove off after that.

The baby is lucky to be alive, says Montano. “You can only imagine the worst. It wasn’t like the baby was left in front of a house. It could have really turned unfortunate,” he tells PEOPLE.

Anyone with information is asked to contact the sheriff’s office at 559-675-7770.

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