Mother arrested after newborn baby found alive in trash can

WILMINGTON, N.C. — A 21-year-old woman has been arrested after a newborn baby was found crying inside a trash can in a church parking lot last Thursday.

Maryuri Estefany Calix-Macedo was charged with first-degree attempted murder, according to our news partners WTVD. Police believe she tried to kill her newborn son.

The baby boy is alive because a woman who was walking her dog heard his cries. He was rushed to the hospital, where police said he is doing well.

Cynthia Burton said she walks her dog several times a day, but last Thursday she decided to take a different path home because of the hot pavement.

That’s when she heard a noise coming from a garbage bin behind a nearby church. She looked inside to find a newborn in a garbage bag, WECT reported.

The umbilical cord was still wrapped around his neck.

“He would not have survived if someone hadn’t been walking that way because he was in the trash bin at the bottom,” Burton said. “He was in a trash bag and the ties were tight. I couldn’t open them. I had to rip the trash liner apart.”

She started yelling for help and called 911. Neighbors in an apartment complex nearby heard the woman’s screams and came outside. Another neighbor brought a towel to wrap around the baby.

”I just picked the baby up and held him and just talked to him,” neighbor Tamara Austin told ABC affiliate WWAY. “He was breathing, I cleared out his airways, he was breathing fine. He actually cried and at one point he even grabbed my finger.”

Austin said she is grateful Burton was walking by with her dog and was able to hear the boy’s cries.

”Thank God that she was walking her dog when she was,” Austin said. “Thank God she heard him cry and was able to bring him up here. She’s definitely the hero that saved his life.”

Burton said it was a mixture of divine intervention and being aware of her surroundings that saved the young boy’s life.

“It’s pretty powerful,” Burton said. “It changes your life. And, I know God put me in that place at that time.”

If you or someone you know is pregnant and feels unable to care for a baby, North Carolina has a safe surrender law.

Parents can give up a newborn up to seven days old anonymously to either a health care provider, law enforcement officer, social services worker or emergency medical personnel.

Calix-Macedo will make her first court appearance on Monday.