ORANGEBURG, SC Nov 10 2016
Officials with the Orangeburg Department of Public Safety have identified and arrested the mother of the newborn baby that was found in a trash bag on Claflin University.
Officers say 19-year-old Amber Fulton, a student at Claflin University who is from Kingstree, SC, faces charges of unlawful conduct towards a child and attempted murder. She was taken to a medical center for evaluation.
Arrest warrants indicate that Fulton gave birth to the baby boy between the hours of 4 a.m. and 8:25 a.m. on the Claflin Campus. Officials say after she gave birth, Fulton cut the umbilical cord with paper scissors. Once the baby began to cry, she used tissues to clean the baby, and then she placed him in a plastic bag and put that bag in another large trash bag which she tied with a loose knot. Fulton then placed the bag with the live baby in a dumpster at the student residential center, behind the Claflin dining facility.
Custodians with Claflin University were collecting garbage for the week when they made the heartbreaking discovery.
Officials with the Orangeburg DPS were called to the scene just after 9 a.m. where workers found a healthy 5 pound, 7-ounce baby boy crying in a trash bag.
The boy was immediately transported to a nearby hospital, where at last check, he appears to be doing well. The baby appeared to be full-term, officials said. Additional information on the baby, according to officials, will be released at a later date.
Orangeburg DPS officials are now just dealing with the shock of the investigation
"It is something that we don't like seeing. We're fortunate in this incident because the baby could have been deceased. We're very fortunate the baby is alive and doing well," said an Orangeburg DPS official. "We're going through a gauntlet of emotions, but we're trying to stay focused."
DPS officials say Fulton, the mother, signed a statement admitting to giving birth to the baby and putting him in the dumpster.
As for the child, the state Department of Social Services is expected to get involved soon.
"We're working with the Orangeburg Department of Public Safety. It's an ongoing case, but this isn't news you're used to finding every day, finding out that a newborn baby has been found in a dumpster," Claflin spokesman George Johnson said.