Police: Newborn girl abandoned on porch, mother identified and charged

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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. 

According to police, the 5-hour-old baby was left on the porch of a home on Mary George Avenue. The homeowner called 911 after discovering her around 1:30 a.m.

The homeowner told police they thought they heard a baby, and, when they opened their front door, they found her wrapped in a blanket on their doorstep. 

"I opened up the door and there was a baby screaming, crying with nothing on," homeowner Freida Burston said.

She said she couldn't believe her eyes and reached down and picked the baby up. The child still had the umbilical cord attached.

Burston, who has four children of her own, brought the baby into her home and called 911.

The baby was taken to the hospital, where she's listed in stable condition. According to police, she in good health in the ICU at Grady Memorial Hospital. 

Later on Tuesday, the mother of the child, identified as 22-year-old Doretha Burkes, reached out to police to ask about the child's condition.

Investigators said Burkes, told them she was homeless and left the child on a doorstep after giving birth because she could not care for her, and she did not know she could have taken the child to a safe place such as a fire station. 

"You can go to the hospital or you have the option to go to a fire station, but abandoning a child is reckless," said Atlanta Police Captain William Ricker said.

Investigators later learned that Burkes was not homeless. She lived with her mother in southwest Atlanta and had been afraid to tell anyone she was pregnant.

Burke faces felony charges of cruelty to children and providing false information to police. She is charges with misdemeanor reckless conduct.