ST. TAMMANY PARISH, LA (WAFB) - The St. Tammany Parish woman who is charged with abandoning her hours-old newborn baby in her backyard has now lost custody of her three other children.
Kimberly Lee, 35, is in jail on child cruelty and desertion charges. Her infant son is still in the hospital, but in stable condition.
Investigators say a 13-year-old boy called 911 around 7 a.m. Tuesday to report he and his 15-year-old sister found a crying newborn baby wrapped in a towel and blanket on the ground. Their father wrapped the baby in more blankets to warm it until EMTs could make it to the Pearl River home.
Deputies said they and emergency medical personnel arrived to find the baby breathing and with the umbilical cord still attached. The baby was first taken to Northshore Regional Medical Center in Slidell and then flown to Ochsner Medical Center on the south shore.
Detectives said while questioning the three family members they learned Lee had been pregnant, but her husband didn't know she had given birth. He told investigators she had left the house to go to work that morning.
The STPSO contacted Lee and advised her to go to the hospital, where she was interviewed. Deputies reported she told them she had given birth Monday morning and put the baby outside her home. They said they also learned she hid the birth from her family by wearing oversized outfits.
Authorities obtained arrest warrants for Lee on charges of second-degree cruelty to a juvenile and child desertion. They added the investigation is ongoing to determine if anyone else should face criminal charges.
The sheriff's office reported the couple has an 8-year-old daughter in addition to the two teens. They are now in state custody.