Around 10:30 p.m. Sunday night, a woman woke up to another woman ringing the doorbell to her home in Deltona, Florida.
“Some girl just came up and abandoned her baby at my door.”
The resident immediately called 911 after the woman, later identified at Melissa Kelley, 33, dropped the 3-month-old baby and said she could no longer care for him.
“She just pushed the baby in the door and walked away. I don’t know her name. I have no idea who she is,” the resident told a 911 dispatcher.
Kelley reportedly knew the resident’s name, though she did not know who Kelley was at first.
“She said ‘your daughter is dating his daddy,” the resident said on the 911 call.
According to a report from the Volusia County Sheriff’s Office, Kelley was upset about breaking up with her child’s father and prior to abandoning the child sent text messages that suggested she planned to throw her child in the garbage and use drugs to harm herself.
The baby allegedly had scabies.
Kelley told the woman she was unable to care for the child and said his father would come get him. She pushed the child’s car seat inside the woman’s house and warned her not to touch him because he had scabies.
The child was also left with a soiled diaper, empty bottle, half a can of formula, and two soiled baby towels.
The woman attempted to get in contact with the child’s father, but they were unsuccessful.
Police eventually located Kelley. They arrested her and charged her with unlawful desertion of a child and neglect of a child.
Her child was taken to the hospital and put in custody of the Department of Children and Families.
In Florida, a parent can take a newborn, up to 7 days old, to a designated “safe haven” location without fear of prosecution.
It’s difficult to judge a mother because we don’t know her entire story, so I will only say that I hope she gets the help she needs. And I hope her baby will get the medical attention and love they deserve.