KEARNS, UT (KTVX/CNN) - Police are investigating why a newborn girl, less than one week old, was left in a garbage can.
Neighbors found the infant on Tuesday after hearing a sound coming from their trash can.
"She heard something that sounded like a cat," Adora Nemitz said.
Nemitz recalled what her neighbor told her.
"They told me that they found a baby out of the garbage can," she said. "I don't even talk, I just shocked."
Paramedics arrived and police soon followed.
"It was transported in what was described as critical condition. It's in extremely critical condition, and it's being described as really fighting for (its) life," Sheriff Jim Winder said.
An hour later, the infant's mother was escorted from her home to a hospital for medical treatment.
"The potential charges could be child abuse, and God forbid if the child passes away, it could be, you know, could be child homicide," Winder said.
He said the infant was a girl born on Sunday, but they're unsure if the birth took place inside the home or if others in the home knew about it.
"If we can identify that individuals had prior knowledge, took no action, this would be a problem," Winder said.
Throughout the morning, apparent family members arrived at the home, talking with police, looking for answers.
Detectives continued to question the mother as they try to figure out what happened.
The sheriff said the mother appears to be mentally competent, is cooperating, and perhaps they may soon learn the why.
At the top of everyone's list is the condition of the baby girl.
"We pray that the child makes a full recovery, and, you know, that should be at the top of everybody's mind," Winder said.
The state of Utah has a safe haven law that prohibits people from abandoning babies.
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