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Posted at 12:13 PM ET, 01/16/2012

Infant, abandoned on Northeast doorstep in freezing temperatures, dies

Update, 4:15 p.m.: For the latest on this case, see our updated story.

Original posting:

An infant girl found wrapped in a towel on the front steps of a Northeast residence late Sunday night later died, and police are investigating the case as a homicide.

A resident of the 3000 block of Channing Street, NE, was walking home when he saw the unidentified infant on the steps of another home in the same block, police said Tuesday morning. After finding the baby cold and unconscious, he brought the baby into his home and called 911.

Police and Fire and Emergency Medical Services arrived at the scene shortly after 11:30 p.m. and found a neighbor performing CPR on the infant. The baby was then taken to Children’s National Medical Center, where she was pronounced dead at 2:21 a.m. on Monday.

Lt. Robert Alder, a homicide supervisor for the Metropolitan Police, said that detectives are continuing to investigate the circumstances of the death of the baby, described as an African American infant less than one week old. Detectives hope that they can speak to the parent or parents who left the child on the stoop, Alder said, and are awaiting autopsy results expected Monday.

“This is a tragedy, an infant left out in the cold at night,” Alder said.

Temperatures at Reagan National Airport dipped below freezing between 9 p.m. and 10 p.m. on Sunday night, and at the time the baby was found before midnight, temperatures were hovering at about 28 degrees, according to National Weather Service records.

In 2009, the District enacted the Safe Haven law, which allows parents of unwanted babies less than a week old to drop them off at hospitals and fire or police stations without risk of prosecution, as long as the child remains unharmed. It was unclear why the baby was left at the specific doorstep on Channing Street.

This story has been updated.

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By  |  12:13 PM ET, 01/16/2012

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