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Baby Left in Bathroom Wastebasket, Mother Arrested

August 11, 1995

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) _ It took 11 minutes and 40 seconds for Baby Maxine to be born in a bathroom cubicle at a discount store and tossed in a plastic wastebasket.

The store’s video surveillance camera recorded the times as the baby’s young mother entered and left the bathroom Saturday.

Two hours after she was born, a janitor found the infant covered with blood and called 911. Weighing 2 pounds, 12 ounces and measuring 14.6 inches, she had no pulse and would have died soon, her doctor said.

Her mother, a 20-year-old college student who had studied emergency childbirthing, was arrested Thursday on a charge of attempted murder.

Shelby Miles contends that she didn’t know she was pregnant until the baby was born. She told police she thought the infant was dead so she left it in a bathroom wastebasket at a Sacramento Sav-Max store.

Miles, who was released on her own recognizance, wants to keep the baby now, said her attorney, John Conboy.

Police said Miles was returning from a trip to Reno, Nev., when her water broke and she stopped at the store. Authorities were trying to locate the baby’s father.

She later checked into a hospital 50 miles away because of complications from the breach birth. She told hospital workers she was the young mother police were seeking.

Dr. Shereen Zakauddin said Baby Maxine _ named by Sav-Max employees after the store _ had blood seeping from her umbilical cord, which had been cut, but not tied.

``When I got called and they told me a little baby had been found and she was in the emergency room, I thought I was going to have to call the resuscitation off,″ said Zakauddin, her doctor in the intensive care unit at Sutter Memorial Hospital. ``But her eyes were open, she was moving around. She’s a survivor, I think.″

Sav-Max has put $2,000 in a trust fund for the infant.

Employees were saddened to hear of Miles’ arrest.

``Gee, at first we couldn’t understand how somebody would do something like that,″ said Robert T. Valero, store manager. ``Then she said she didn’t know and we were all hoping that was true for the baby’s sake ... so that she could take the baby back.″

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