District police said yesterday that they are searching for the mother of a newborn child discovered Saturday night in a women's restroom at the J.W. Marriott Hotel on Pennsylvania Avenue NW.
Officials were uncertain whether the apparently full-term baby girl was born in the hotel or was abandoned there.
A spokeswoman for Children's Hospital, where the infant was taken, said that the child was in good condition yesterday after being brought to the hospital at about 10:45 p.m. Saturday night.
"We know it is a newborn only a few hours old," said Teresa Fulton, a hospital spokeswoman. "It is not premature and it appears to be a normal-sized newborn.
"As far as we know, nothing is wrong with the baby. Only thing we know is that it was cold."
Billie Short, a Children's Hospital neonatologist, said that the baby's body temperature was "hardly recordable" when it reached the hospital. The baby was placed in an Isolette used for premature infants and her temperature gradually was raised to normal.
Short explained that infants born or abandoned in uncontrolled environments can die quickly because they are highly suspectible to infection and loss of body temperature that can lead to brain damage. She added that such babies come into the world with a critical need for nourishment.
The fact that all three factors were against Baby Jane, as the infant is being called, could have combined to kill the baby "rather quickly," Short said.
Police confirmed that the baby had been found in the hotel and that they were investigating.
"As far as I'm concerned, it's over and done," said a hotel employe, who declined to comment further.