Teen mother of abandoned baby arrested

Published On: Oct 31 2012 04:10:24 PM EDT   Updated On: Nov 01 2012 12:21:56 AM EDT

Jacksonville police arrested a 15-year-old mother who abandoned her newborn outside a vacant apartment.


Police have arrested the 15-year-old mother of a baby that was abandoned outside a vacant apartment last week.

Amber Collins is charged with child neglect, a second-degree felony.

Collins' newborn daughter was found Oct. 24 wrapped in a towel and on the ground in front of the apartment in the 3300 block of Monument Road.

A neighbor found the baby and called police, and the baby was taken to a hospital, where doctors determined the girl was only a couple hours old.

"I'm a mother myself, and I looked at her and just thought, 'oh my goodness she is just a baby,'" said Cristessa, the neighbor who found the newborn.

On Tuesday, police were called by Collins' mother stating she thought her daughter gave birth to the baby. On Wednesday, Collins was interviewed by police and admitted to leaving the baby at the vacant apartment, police said.

The baby is doing well now, police said.

Collins' mother told Channel 4 she recently made the connection with the abandoned baby because that day, she went home to that same complex to find her own daughter unconscious.

"I found that she was passed out, slumped over, passed out, and I also saw copious amounts of blood on the floor, so that made me concerned," she said.

She said she rushed the high school sophomore to an emergency room, still unsure exactly what was wrong.

She said her daughter had never admitted at any point that she knew she had a baby.

"She did after all of this happened," Collins' mother said. "She's still in denial. I don't understand how she can be, knowing that she had a baby right there by herself."

Now the teen's mother believes she knows the truth and who the father is. She claims the father, a high school senior, has even given the baby girl a name -- Kamayia Olivia.

"He's a very responsible young man and he's distraught as well," the woman said. "He didn't know what was going on. He had no idea and we're talking about him getting the baby, you know, custody of the baby, because he's more stable than my daughter right now."

The Jacksonville Sheriff's Office said it would like to remind people about Florida's Safe Haven Law, which says a child 7 days old or younger can be left at a hospital, emergency medical services facility or a fire station without any recourse.

Collins will make her first appearance in court Thursday morning. The baby is in the custody of DCF.


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