Linton, Ind. (WTWO/WAWV) — Wabash Valley residents gathered for the unveiling of a new Safe Haven baby box Tuesday at the City of Linton Fire Department and celebrated the life of the last abandoned baby found dead in Indiana.
Baby Amelia was found abandoned on Dec. 28, 2014, at Eagle Creek Park wrapped inside a Vincennes University sweatshirt. Amelia was the last abandoned infant found in Indiana deceased, a Safe Haven news release said, as a result of the availability of Safe Haven Baby Boxes.
The celebration of Amelia’s short life was held Tuesday at the blessing of the Linton, Ind. Safe Haven
Baby Box, the 92nd Safe Haven Baby Box in the country. The Safe Haven Baby Box is located at 230 N.W. A St. in Linton, Ind. at the City of Linton Fire Department.
The Baby Box was made available to the public starting after the Dec. 28 ceremony and the community unveiling at 1:00 p.m. Linton’s is the 92nd Safe Haven baby box in the nation and the 75th in Indiana.
Safe Haven Baby Boxes Inc. is a non-profit organization founded by retired firefighter and medic Monica Kelsey, who was abandoned as an infant and is committed to ending illegal infant abandonment in the country. Monica has made it her personal mission, the release said, to help end abandonment in the United States through education, awareness and a last resort option, the baby box.
Tuesday marked the seventh year anniversary of the finding of baby Amelia at Eagle Creek Park. Since then, Safe Haven has started raising awareness for the Safe Haven Law in Amelia’s name.
“Amelia was the last abandoned baby found deceased in Indiana,” Linda Znachko, founder of He Knows Your Name, said. “Amelia left behind her footprint. It is proof she lived. And, she definitely was here. The SHBB logo bears Amelia’s footprint, which is now her legacy to raise awareness about the Safe Haven Law.”
“Today we honor the legacy of Amelia and install this Safe Haven Baby Box knowing we want to prevent the fate Ameila suffered,” Kelsey said. “Parents in crisis need an anonymous option. This box is going to protect mothers in crisis and their infants by giving them a safe option to surrender anonymously. We are delighted to add Linton as a Safe Haven Baby Box community.”