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Cleveland Fire reminds public of Ohio's 'safe haven' law after infants found dead in Cleveland

The safe haven law allows a parent to leave an infant (up to 30 days old) with authorized medical and law enforcement personnel.

CLEVELAND — Just one day after learning about the infants that were found dead in a garbage can at a Cleveland house, the Cleveland Fire Department and Cleveland Division of Police are reminding the public of the safe haven law that could prevent future tragedies.

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Police officials tell 3News that officers responded to the 2800 block of Ludlow Road for two infant fatalities on Saturday. According to a police report, the mother of a 16-year-old girl called 911 after finding the babies in the trash, and she claimed to authorities her daughter admitted to giving birth to the children before she "threw the babies in the garbage."

Residents in the community told 3News that they heard babies crying Thursday evening on the night they were allegedly born, but did not suspect anything was wrong. The caller claimed she did not even know her daughter was pregnant.

The full report with known details can be found here.

Representatives from the Cleveland Fire Department can provide a "safe haven" for mother with unwanted babies. A safe haven that not only could have prevented this tragic incident, but is mandated under Ohio state law.

According to Ohio.gov, the safe haven law allows a parent to leave an infant (up to 30 days old) with the following authorized personel:

  • A medical worker in a hospital
  • A medical worker at a fire department or other emergency service organization
  • A peace officer at a law enforcement agency

Mike Norman with Cleveland Fire told 3News, "We are here for people on the worst day of their lives. That order explains how to receive the baby, how to arrange for the transport to a medical facility care for the mother."

Tonight police are asking questions regarding the newborn twins. They are also seeking emotional help for first responders, as a chaplain was requested per the police report.  

Norman says first responders deal with many crisis's, but the special circumstances around this incident can take a large toll on even the most experienced responder.

From 3News' previous coverage of this incident:

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