Horrible: Woman Videotaped Abandoning Her Baby at Tucson Airport

Gosh and I thought a woman flushing her live hamster down the toilet at BWI airport was bad.

With hundreds of millions of passengers passing through US airports each year every issue and problem imaginable arises. People bring their baggage both literally and figuratively. All of life’s challenges that happen outside the airport happen inside it too.

Video footage from the Tucson airport last month shows a woman carrying her baby that was then abandoned at the airport.

The baby was found wrapped up on a changing table in a bathroom before security near the rental car counters. There was also “a green pair of lace underwear and a black pair of sweat pants, all with blood and bodily fluids” which presumably belonged to the woman. And there was a note with the baby,

Please help me.

My mom had no idea she was pregnant. She is unable and unfit to take care of me. Please get me to the authorities so they can find a good home.

I just want what is best for him and it is not me.


Im sorry.

The child was taken to the hospital and is in good health.

In Arizona it’s fully legal to leave a baby at a ‘safe haven’ location. The airport fire department happens to be a safe haven. The bathroom near rental car pickup not so much.

(HT: Ryan Boyd)

About Gary Leff

Gary Leff is one of the foremost experts in the field of miles, points, and frequent business travel - a topic he has covered since 2002. Co-founder of frequent flyer community InsideFlyer.com, emcee of the Freddie Awards, and named one of the "World's Top Travel Experts" by Conde' Nast Traveler (2010-Present) Gary has been a guest on most major news media, profiled in several top print publications, and published broadly on the topic of consumer loyalty. More About Gary »

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  1. The hamster story was far worse. The owner sent her pet to a slow torturous death.

    In this case, the mother left the baby in a place where she knew the baby would be found quickly. Not the most ideal circumstances, obviously. But a far better outcome!

  2. The fact that there are designated locations with written instructions shows that abandoning newborns is all too common unfortunately. I have to disagree with Tommyleo. A mother abandoning her newborn son in an airport bathroom is not better than flushing a hamster down a toilet even assuming the hamster didn’t survive. .

  3. I think it would be prudent to remove the video of this woman, since what she did is not, as you suggest in your tagline, “horrible,” and putting her video all over the internet helps neither mother nor child. “Horrible” would be abandoning the baby in circumstances that could endanger its life. Instead, this woman left the baby in a place where she knew it would be found and cared for.

    Obviously this poor woman had no idea of the options available to her in terms of giving up her baby. It’s a shame she could not have left the baby in a safe haven location, but please don’t shame the woman – even subtly – by using the term “horrible” and posting her face everywhere. She left a note, she apologized, and the baby is healthy. Case closed.

  4. The video was over all news outlets including networks last night, being played over and over again.
    Why not tell them not to show it?
    Gary isn’t the first or only one to post it.
    Sad what passes for news these days.

  5. Not horrible? Really?

    causing or likely to cause horror; shocking.

    I do agree that the video should not be posted, for the reasons stated by TyTy.

  6. Gary, posting this in this way does not reflect well on your character or ethical judgment. I agree with the others. Take down the video and issue an apology please.

  7. I feel nothing but complete compassion for this young woman. The child is obviously less than 3 weeks old as after birth we bleed for a good 3/4 weeks. This woman realized she could not care for her child. It may not have been a designated place but it was a SAFE place.

    Think of all the alternative things she could have done, smothered the child and disposed of him, yet she didn’t do that. She left him is a safe public spot where he would be quickly found and importantly she apologized. She was obviously overwhelmed. If you have ever cared for a newborn, it can be overwhelming and I had a husband to help me, she obviously does not. We have no idea what issues she is dealing with, what her day to day life is like, this woman deserves our compassion. She did the best she could. Was it perfect? No, but it was caring.

  8. @TyTy

    Want to be a judge? Become a lawyer first.

    I like Gary’s blog, and I’m not leaving. But, please….take your ugly ass elsewhere.

  9. Wow.. how dare you publically shame a woman for abandoning a newborn! The horror!

    Just kidding. That woman is trash. We’ve become a nation of snowflakes..

  10. I agree with Tommyleo and TyTy. This is not worse than the woman who killer her hamster simply because the baby is still alive and safe. The mother may not have been able to care for it but she didn’t toss it in a dumpster or flush it down a toilet. And how many times have we read article where women did just that after and unwanted or unexpected pregnancy? That’s the very reason for the safe haven laws, so that women in that position have a place to safely leave their baby. True, the airport bathroom was not one of those legal safe havens but it was a safe, well traveled place where someone was bound to find the child – and the note- quickly before any harm could come to him/her.
    It’s a shame that “emotional support” hamster wasn’t given the same consideration.

  11. @WilliamC

    Such a mature response! You’ll note that I wasn’t critiquing Gary himself, nor do I plan to stop reading his otherwise excellent blog. I wouldn’t even go so far as to say he needs to issue an apology. I’m merely suggesting that he choose his words a bit more carefully. This woman and her child deserve help and sympathy, not notoriety. And if suggesting that makes me a “snowflake,” then it’s a title I wear proudly, @afterbang.

  12. Folks, once the woman puts the baby down in the bathroom and walks away she has no idea what might happen to her son. An airport bathroom is not a safe place to leave a baby for anyone to find. The person who found the child could have as easily sold the child on the black market. So far, no harm has come to it other than the huge psychological and emotional burden the boy will bear because his mother dumped him in a bathroom. Some think all is fine now, but anyone familiar with foster homes and orphanages knows there is no guarantee the baby will be safe in the future. In fact maybe just the opposite.

    And those who buy the line that the mother could not care for her son are just flat out wrong and apparently know nothing about being a parent. The woman’s problem was not that she could not care for her son, the problem was that it was INCONVENIENT and EMBARRASSING for her to care for her son. She appears to be able bodied physically and mentally, so she could have cared for the baby. I have no problem if she is shamed. She ( as well as the father if he knew) should be shamed for being incredibly selfish and taking the easy way out without regard for her baby.

  13. @john

    She may not have had the financial means to care for the child. She may be in an abusive relationship and is protecting the child. There are so many possible reasons.

    My guess, since she didn’t know she was pregnant, is that she is uneducated and didn’t know the options available to her. We don’t really teach Safe Haven laws to students in school (heaven forbid, they might go get pregnant on purpose!).

    The child will likely be immediately placed into foster care with a foster parent who has indicated a preference for adoption.

    So this mother’s decision has made the dream of motherhood available to another woman and ensured her son will likely have a better life than she could provide.

    As you can see, there are multiple narratives that can be spun. Maybe some compassion is in order for another human being who had to make a tough decision.

  14. @ naomi, You have plenty of compassion for the adult. How about showing some compassion for the child? The woman had no idea what would or will happen to her child. She only thinks that it is better for her to dump the kid. I bet she regrets this decision very much at some point. Again you make all kinds of rosy assumptions about the child’s future and make guesses about the reasons the mom abandoned her baby. The mom doesn’t know what will happen and neither does anyone else.

  15. Last comment: Any shame this woman feels from the video being shown is nothing compared to the feelings she probably will experience everyday for the rest of her life as a result of abandoning her baby. I feel sorry for her for that.

  16. As horrible as this is, it’s no where near as horrible as having her baby ripped tp pieces while still in the womb.

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