Man, dog find abandoned baby on side of road

Neighbors say they believe the mother is a young teenager from the area.

DIAMOND LAKE, Mich. (WOOD) — A man walking his dog in the Diamond Lake area Monday morning came upon an abandoned newborn baby on the side of the road.

The baby was discovered on the side of a dirt road around 10:30 a.m. in the area of Marion Road, north of White Cloud.

Jeff Kopp said he normally doesn’t walk along along Marion Road, but his dog Bobby seemed to be on a mission Monday morning, pulling him down the road and toward a satellite dish.

“He brought me over to about here, and there’s when I saw what (looked like) a rabbit at first,” Kopp said.

“Then it moved. That’s when I started yelling,” he said. Bobby sniffed at something near the satellite dish about three feet from the road. Kopp came closer, and that’s when he realized what that “rabbit” actually was: A baby.

He called out to his neighbor to call 911 and shouted for his wife and daughter. They wrapped the baby girl in a towel for warmth and waited for emergency responders.

It was chilly, and the family was worried for the baby.

“Once the women picked her up and wrapped her up, then eventually she started to cry and we know that she was OK,” Kopp said.

The newborn was conscious and breathing when paramedics arrived, though she had some bruises and scrapes. Her umbilical cord was still attached.

An ambulance took the newborn to Gerber Memorial Hospital in Fremont, according to Lt. Chad Palmiter of the Newaygo County Sheriff’s Department. The baby’s condition was not immediately known.

Later Monday, authorities were able to find the child’s mother. She was taken to the hospital for evaluation, the sheriff’s office said.

Neighbors say they believe the mother is a young teenager from the area.

Kopp said he thinks it was an act of God that brought him and Bobby to the play where the baby lay.

“I feel that we were led to that place, OK, because it was out of the ordinary for me to come in this direction,” Kopp said. “I tend to think it was God led us this way, that all life is precious to Him.”

Michigan has a “safe haven” law that allows a person to anonymously surrender an infant within 72 hours of birth to an Emergency Service Provider, like a hospital, police or fire station. In 2013, 11 infants were surrendered over, according to the Michigan Department of Human Services.

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