(Fr. Christopher Ryan Heanue)
NEW YORK (FOX5NY) - A woman who left her newborn baby in a nativity scene at a Queens church on Monday has been found and will not be charged, according to the Queens district attorney.
The church is considered a safe haven for drop-offs, but the law requires leaving the baby with a person or calling authorities immediately, which the mother did not do.
However, Queens DA Richard Brown said the young woman followed the "spirit of New York's 'Safe Haven' Law.
"It appears that the mother, in this case, felt her newborn child would be found safely in the church and chose to place the baby in the manger because it was the warmest place in the church, and further she returned the following morning to make certain that the baby had been found," Brown said in a statement.
Bishop Octavio Cisneros said a sacristan at the church heard crying from the manger that was being readied for Christmas. He found the baby with the umbilical cord still attached.
Cisneros says the baby was healthy and 17 inches but only weighed 5.2 pounds. He was taken to Jamaica Hospital, where he was listed in stable condition.
Father Christopher Heanue was one of the first to arrive after Jose Moran, the custodian, discovered the crying infant lying in the crèche. According to Moran, the child could not have been there longer than an hour before he was found.
"Pray for him and for his mother whoever she might be," Cisneros wrote on his Facebook page.
Father Heanue is focused solely on the future of the newborn, praying that the infant will find a home within his parish. And, while the baby boy has not yet been named, Father Heanue did suggest "Jesus" or "John the Baptist."
Surveillance video from Holy Child reportedly shows a woman walking inside with a baby in her arms and then shows her leaving without it.