Child found freezing in car

An 8-month-old boy left in a neighbor’s car by his mother Monday morning in Seymour was hospitalized with symptoms of near-hypothermia, police reported.

The boy was found about an hour after his mother was found lying outside a residence on Emerson Drive on the city’s west side.

She was suffering from hypothermia and frostbite on her feet and was hospitalized, Seymour Detective Greg O’Brien said.

He declined to identify the 27-year-old woman because it is believed she is suffering from a medical condition, postpartum depression, and that may have played a role in her placing the child in the vehicle on the coldest day of the winter. The temperature was 7 degrees when the child was found.

Both mother and son were treated at Schneck Medical Center in Seymour, but O’Brien said he could not release any information about their conditions.

The man who found the child in his car on Emerson Drive called Seymour police at 10:46 a.m.

Richard Howard said he found the infant lying on the floorboard of the back seat of his vehicle as he was warming it up before heading to work.

“I was reaching for an ice scraper,” Howard said. “I thought someone might be playing a trick on me. It didn’t seem real. He wasn’t moving. I poked him, and he didn’t give me any response.”

He said he picked up the child, went inside and wrapped him in a blanket until police and medical workers could arrive.

The boy’s mother had been found lying on a porch outside a residence on Emerson Drive by officers responding to a report of a possible burglary. That incident was reported at 9:52 a.m. Monday. It was 5 degrees at that time.

The first officers at the scene said the woman was acting confused and erratic. She was treated by Jackson County Emergency Medical Services personnel before being taken to Schneck.

Doctors at the hospital told police the woman was suffering from postpartum depression, O’Brien said.

The husband of the woman and father of the child was working in Louisville but left to come to the hospital. The woman’s mother also went to the hospital, O’Brien said.

He said he could not say if the child had been released to family after the incident.

Howard later bought a teddy bear and went to the hospital to see the baby. He visited with the baby and his grandmother.

“He smiled at me,” Howard said.

Howard said it was just a good feeling to know he had played a role in saving the baby.

O’Brien said the incident could have turned out differently because of Monday’s extreme cold temperatures. Monday’s low was 2, and the high at 4 p.m. was just 15, according to Brownstown Central High School’s weather station.

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Aubrey Woods is editor of The (Seymour) Tribune. He can be reached at awoods@tribtown.com or 812-523-7051.