Church Employee Grateful to Discover Wet, Abandoned Baby

SIOUX FALLS, S.D.- Employees at a downtown Sioux Falls church made a startling discovery early Tuesday morning: a baby in a car seat, right at their front door.

The little boy, believed to be only about two-and-a-half months old, is doing well, and now in protective custody.

KDLT’S Anndrea Anderson met with the woman who found the infant outside the church.

“My first thought, is the parents might be around the corner. And then I picked him up, and immediately my first thought is, ‘Now I have an opportunity to love this child, get it what it needs, and go from there.”

Adrienne Horsley says it was a chance of fate that staff at Faith Family Church found the abandoned car seat because it was sitting outside their east entrance, doors that not often used.

“Our maintenance guy got a phone call so he stepped out into the other room and he happened to see this car seat sitting outside.”

She says the baby was cold to the touch; he and the car seat both soaking wet.

“When we found him, he just stared at me, he didn’t have an emotional response when I picked him up or set him down.”

She immediately gave him a warm bath, clothes, and formula, and called police.

“You never know what goes on in someone’s mind, but you know, we were thankful that we were able to be here and even though it’s a little baby we were able to show God’s love even in that area,” said Horsley.

Police say they do not know how long the baby and car seat were left outside the church, but do believe he was sitting out overnight.

Captain Loren McManus says police have identified the infant’s parents and the case has been sent to the State’s Attorney for possible charges.

“We know that there was some alcohol involved in the incident and they’re still piecing some of the finer points together about what actually happened.”

McManus says in his 23 and a half years in law enforcement, he’s never encountered a case like this.

Adrienne Horsley says she’s glad she did.

“Even though the baby might not even know me or might not even know what we did for him, at least we know we were able to do what he needed even at two and a half months old, three months old, whatever he is.”

South Dakota does have a “Safe Haven Law” which means infants under 60 days old can be left with an emergency medical services provider or licensed child placement agency with no questions asked.

But since a church is not considered one of those safe haven locations and the baby is over 60 days old, his parents could be facing charges of abuse or cruelty to a minor.