Police: Mother accused of abandoning baby faces charges

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The mother who abandoned a newborn baby girl at a northwest Atlanta early Tuesday morning has been identified and charged with multiple felonies.

Doretha Burkes, 22, of Atlanta, was booked into the Fulton County Jail on Wednesday charged with reckless conduct, cruelty to children, and providing false information to police.

Police said Burkes’ newborn baby was in good condition as of Friday, but the little girl remains at Grady Memorial Hospital in the ICU.

Atlanta police said Burkes reached out to detectives Tuesday morning, initially telling investigators she had delivered the child, she was homeless and could not take care of the baby. Burke’s claimed she was desperate and didn’t know she should take the newborn to a safe haven like a hospital or fire station.

Investigators met with Burkes, initially with the intention of trying to get her some help and that is when they said her story began to unravel. They learned Burkes lied about her circumstances, that she lived with her mother in southwest Atlanta, and had been afraid to tell anyone she was pregnant. She gave birth in secret, alone in her apartment, and left the baby on Freida Burston’s doorstep.

Lt. Jeff Baxter, APD said, “Our special victims’ advocates volunteers at Grady Hospital, DFACS all came together to provide this young mother with shelter with resources and everything else only for all of us to be turned upside down in learning that was not true so obviously that’s something that she needs to answer for she’s been charged criminally.”

Burston in her 911 said, “I got up to go in my front room, a baby was screaming and crying on my porch.”

Also, Wednesday, police released Burston’s frantic call to 911. She discovered the newborn on the doorstep of her home on Mary George Avenue in northwest Atlanta at around 2 a.m. Tuesday.

Burston, “I opened up the front door, kept hearing a baby crying and I don’t have no baby. So I opened up the front door and there was a baby with nothing on and a blanket.”

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