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Mom who left newborn on stranger's porch didn't want to tell her mom she was pregnant: Police

Atlanta Police responded to a home Tuesday morning where an abandoned newborn was discovered.

ATLANTA — Tuesday morning will be a day one Atlanta woman will never forget. It was the day she woke up and found a baby sitting on the front porch of her home.

In the 911 call 11Alive obtained from police, you can hear the disbelief in her voice. In the clip that's just over 4 minutes, Freida Burston describes to the operator how the baby is tied up in a blanket.

Dispatcher: What's the location of your emergency?

Caller: The emergency is, I got up to go in the front room - a baby was screaming and crying on my porch.

As the dispatcher asks Burston her location, the baby can be heard screaming in the background. Burston tells someone else in the room with her to hold the baby. That's when she made another shocking discovery.

Credit: Fulton Counmty Sheriff's Office
Doretha Burkes

Caller: The baby don't have no ... oh! She just delivered the baby!

11Alive got the chance to speak with Burston about the moment she found the infant. She said baby's umbilical cord was still attached. 

RELATED: 'God woke me up' | Woman finds 5-hour-old baby girl on front porch

The operator tries to get more information out of her, but Burston is still in disbelief.

Caller: I've never seen anything like this before in my life.

Dispatcher: Ma'am, what is your location?

She tells the operator her address and then explains more about the situation.

LISTEN: 911 call of woman finding abandoned baby

Caller: I opened up the front door, I kept hearing a baby crying. and I don't have no baby. So I opened up the front door and it was a baby with nothing on in a blanket.

Burston told 11Alive she usually sleeps straight though the night, but on that night she just happened to wake up. 

"God woke me up and said, 'go up front.' So that's how I went up front and saw the baby crying," she told 11Alive. 

During the 911 call, the operator pries for more information, but Burston is still in shock. The operator gets EMS on the line and together they ask questions.

Caller: Somebody, this is critical. Somebody dropped their baby off, got it tied up with a blanket ... she must've just delivered the baby and dropped it off at a doorstep like you hear on the news ... I don't know whose baby this is!

They send officers to the home. 

In body camera video released by Atlanta Police, the new baby can be heard crying in the ambulance. APD said she was in good condition. Officials believe the baby was only about five hours old.

Police later identified the baby's mother as 22-year-old Doretha Burkes. They said she contacted them, asking about the child's condition, claiming to be the infant's mom.

RELATED: Mother identified, charged for abandoning baby on doorstep in west Atlanta

She first told police she was homeless and left the child on the doorstep because she couldn't care for her. However, further investigation found that not to be true. Police said Burkes actually lived with her mother in southwest Atlanta and had been afraid to tell anyone she was pregnant.

"She gave birth to the child in secret, then took the newborn and placed her on a doorstep," the police department said.

Burke will now be charged with misdemeanor reckless conduct and felony counts of cruelty to children and providing false information to police.


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