OCALA, Fla. -- A search is under way for the parents of a newborn who was found when a driver in Ocala spotted the infant's hand sticking out of a box that was left on the side of an isolated dirt road.
The driver made the discovery Saturday evening at the intersection of Northwest 17th Street and Northwest 24th Avenue in Ocala. The newborn was found in a QVC cardboard box, along with a blanket, an article of clothing and a diaper.
Paramedics told WKMG-TV that the girl, who is about 3 to 7 days old, appeared to be in good health. Ocala police said the child may have been abandoned the night before being found.
The child has been placed in the custody of the Department of Children and Families.
"It's terrible that someone would do that. I would rather them drop (the baby) on my doorstep than to do that. Take (the child) somewhere safe. They say ants had got on (the infant)," said Lois Dowdy, who lives near the location where the child was found.
"It's very sad. It's very dangerous. There are snakes out here," said Florastine Lee, who also lives nearby. "A lot of dangerous animals come out at night that could have eaten up that child, and that child did not ask to come into the world."
"I really don't understand why somebody would do something like that to a child," said Ernest Cox, who lives nearby.
Ocala police were searching for a woman driving a gray pickup with a white topper who was seen in the area on Friday at about 7:30 p.m.
"I hope they find the parents and get things resolved," Dowdy said.
"I think that child deserved better than what that mother did," Florastine said.
State law allows for an unwanted newborn to be left at a hospital, fire station or other emergency medical service station without it being considered child neglect.