Orangeburg, SC (WLTX) -- A Claflin University student is facing charges after officers say she put her newborn baby in a garbage bag, then placed him in a dumpster.
Amber Brianna Fulton, 19, is charged with unlawful conduct towards a child and attempted murder.
An incident report states that early Wednesday morning, Fulton gave birth to the child in a bathroom in the dorms, then cut the baby's umbilical cord with scissors. According to investigators, she then place the baby in a Walmart bag, then a large black trash bag, tied it up, and put the baby in a dumpster on campus.
The baby boy was discovered around 8:30 Wednesday morning. The Department of Public Safety said that workers on campus had picked up the contents of the trash bin and were dumping it at another location on campus when they heard the baby crying.
The child was taken to The Regional Medical Center in Orangeburg, where he remained late in the evening. Officers also took Fulton to the hospital to be evaluated after they found her.
When incidents like this arise, we want to remind people about Daniel's Law. Daniel's Law was created to be a safe haven for newborns. Governor Nikki Haley signed into effect H. 4413 which updated Daniel’s Law to include infants up to 60 days old. The former law only applied to infants up to 30 days old.
A person who abandons a newborn cannot be prosecuted for abandonment if he or she takes the unharmed baby to staff or an employee of a safe haven.
Safe havens are defined as a hospital or hospital outpatient facility, law enforcement agencies, fire stations, emergency medial services (EMS) stations or a house of worship during the time the church or synagogue is staff.
- If the baby has been harmed in some way, the immunity from prosecution may not apply. The law applies to infants up to 60 days old.
- The person leaving the child does not have to reveal his or her identity.
- The person leaving the child will be asked to provide medical information about the baby’s parents, and if possible, the name of the baby’s parents. This will help the medical personnel treat the baby for any health problems.
- The hospital will provide medical care and contact South Carolina Department of Social Services (DSS). DSS will have legal custody of the child and will place the child in a foster home.
DSS will immediately pursue family court action to free the child for adoption. Investigators said that baby is doing fine at last check. The incident remains under investigation by Claflin University and The Department of Public Safety in Orangeburg.