The infant boy | Daniel Mitchell | Source: twitter.com/LauraAnthony7 | twitter.com/KTVU
In the most surprising yet heart-shattering turn of events, a young man was reportedly seen pulling over his car and putting a car seat on the ground. After he fled the scene, several onlookers were taken aback by what they saw. Here’s what happened next!
Children deserve to grow up in a loving home surrounded by supportive and affectionate parents who would always prioritize their safety. Regardless of what happens in the world around them, kids know they can always run into their parents’ arms and survive the sore trials.
But imagine the irony of those youngsters who feel anything but safe in their parents’ presence. Indeed, it’s an incredibly gut-wrenching notion and one we wouldn’t wish upon any child. Sadly, today’s story encapsulates a similar scenario.
In 2017, Daniel Mitchell, a resident of California, welcomed a baby boy and shared his joy with his Facebook friends and family members. The joyful picture showed him smiling from ear to ear as he proudly held his infant son.
Keeton, also a father, stated how terrible he felt when the child was taken to the hospital in a critical state.
Nobody could have guessed at the time that only 2.5 weeks later, things would take an unexpected turn, and the then-18-year-old Mitchell would turn his back on one of his own.
It all began on one hot summer day in July 2017, said to be a Monday, when a young man was caught on CCTV cameras leaving a baby in a Suisun City strip mall.
A silver car is pictured outside the shopping mall with its back door open | Source: YouTube.com/KCRA 3
The young parent allegedly dropped his newborn in the shopping mall’s parking area around 3:15 in the afternoon. The baby boy was found to be 16 days old and was reportedly left all alone in the 100 block of Sunset Avenue.
According to the photos taken by a nearby shop’s security cameras, the young man, reportedly identified as Mitchell, stopped his car in the Sunset Shopping Mall’s parking lot, took out a car seat, placed it on the ground, and then disappeared with his car after a few minutes.
Wendell Cooper, who ran a barbershop next to the shopping center, noted how the man opened his car’s back door and put the car seat down before driving off. Moreover, the security footage from Mega Smoke Shop in the strip mall reportedly captured the same scene.
A car seat is pictured lying next to the silver car, as captured in the security footage | Source: YouTube.com/KCRA 3
How Was the Baby Found?
Cooper and one of his workers were the first ones to see the car seat. When they walked toward it, they saw a baby inside.
Police officers who arrived on the scene were dumbfounded to discover that the infant had been reportedly abandoned in the parking lot.
Two men are seen walking near a shop when they suddenly notice a car seat lying in the shopping center’s parking area | Source: YouTube.com/KCRA 3
Passersby are spotted near the car seat, with one man picking it up | Source: YouTube.com/KCRA 3
Cooper recalled bringing the baby inside his shop and waiting for some time, hoping the father would return to take him since he might have forgotten the child. But when they watched the security footage, they realized the man seemingly had no intentions of returning.
Another person who spotted the baby in the car seat was Eric Keeton, who was with a customer in his barber shop at the time.
Eric Keaton | Source: YouTube.com/KCRA 3
Karan Grewal | Source: YouTube.com/KCRA 3
Keeton said he alerted the police immediately and noticed that the baby boy was swaddled, wearing a diaper, and seemed fine while sucking his pacifier. He recounted how the baby’s tongue appeared like he had just fed milk from a bottle.
Was the Baby Alive?
Per the local police, the infant was taken to a hospital as a precautionary measure and entrusted to Child Protective Services. Later that night, CPS saw the redness in the child and brought him once again to be examined by a doctor at a children’s hospital.
There, the baby was said to have been admitted to receive treatment for a medical ailment and appeared to be in a critical but stable condition.
The Suisun City fire station in California | Source: YouTube.com/KCRA 3
Keeton, also a father, stated how terrible he felt
when the child was taken to the hospital in a critical state. As a parent, he felt bothered, hurt, and worried, failing to comprehend why someone would abandon a little one like that.
On the other hand, Cooper was also concerned for the infant, mainly after learning about his medical condition. He recounted how the child looked well when he last saw him and seemed anxious to know whether his health had shown improvement. He said he had the infant’s photos in his phone, which he intended to keep, hoping they would meet one day and he could show him those pictures.
A designated safe surrender site at a local fire station in California | Source: YouTube.com/KCRA 3
Cooper shared that he would hold on to the prospect of seeing the little one again, maybe when he was one or two years old while joking that he had too much hair and might require a haircut in the future.
Per California’s law, a minor could be left in a safe spot, like a fire station. Although the baby was given to CPS, Suisun City’s fire chief said he would have been pleased to care for him.
The Infant’s Father Had an Emotional Breakdown in Court
Mitchell was taken into custody after authorities identified him as the abandoned child’s father. He was said to have been arrested sometime after he left the baby while fleeing from the scene of a car crash
The teenage dad was reportedly arrested on charges of child endangerment and abandonment, felony hit-and-run, felony while on bail, and possession of cocaine. The mother, who was said to have known nothing about the incident, wasn’t deemed a suspect.
Mitchell pleaded not guilty and broke down in sobs during the short court hearing, where multiple charges were pressed against him.
What are your thoughts on this story? Click here to read another story about a woman who found an abandoned newborn named Jesus near a church with a note beside him.