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Woman arrested after giving her newborn to stranger on the street, Corpus Christi police say

A witness took the baby into their arms and immediately called 911, according to officials.

CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas — A woman has been arrested after police said she gave her newborn to a stranger over the weekend while walking down a Corpus Christi street. 

Officers with the Corpus Christi Police Department responded to the area of Comanche St. and Port Ave. on Sunday night around 10:30 for reports of the woman walking down Comanche St. asking strangers to take her baby.

When officers arrived in the area, they quickly found the mother of the baby. Officials learned during an investigation that a witness stopped to talk to the mother and the mother handed her baby, who was less than 2-weeks old, to that person. Good samaritan, Claudia Canales took the baby into their arms and immediately called 911, officials said. 

"I was inside my truck and she just handed the baby over to me and said can you please take her?" Canales said.

She added that the woman looked confused when she asked her to take the child. 

"She looked kind of lost and confused," Canales said. "I don't know. She just didn't look right to me. So I just turned back around and pulled over to the side of the road and asked if she needed help. She said yes. That she had ran away from a house from some lady. "

Canales then called the police, who then bean an investigation and eventually arrested the woman. According to Lt. Michael Pena with the Corpus Christi Police Department, the woman faces a felony charge. 

"The mother was placed into custody for abandoning or endangering the child, which is a felony," Pena said.

Medics were called to check on the child and the 25-year-old mother, as officials said it seemed the mother was under the influence of an unknown substance. The mother was checked out and then placed under arrest for abandoning or endangering a child, which is a felony. 

Investigators from Child Protective Services were called and the baby was placed in their care, CCPD officials said. 

There are several areas around town where mothers can take their infants if they are in crisis. John Lennan with CPS said safe place laws exist for situations such as these.

"The law was designed to be safety net so that newborn children can be cared for safely, if not by their parents or guardian, but by the state through foster care," Lennan said.

In Texas, the Baby Moses Law, also known as the Safe Haven Law, designates hospitals, free-standing ERs, EMS stations and fire stations as safe baby sites.

RELATED: Here are the Texas laws, resources that protect newborns

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