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Philadelphia Mother Sentenced in ‘Baby Noel’ Infant Abandonment Case

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By Tony Hanson

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — A 34-year-old Philadelphia woman has been sentenced to 11½-23 months in custody for abandoning her newborn baby in a box on a North Philadelphia street just four days before Christmas last year (see related stories and photos).

Patricia Crawley has been in custody since her arrest last February, and her attorney says she has been ordered to serve the remainder of her sentence in an inpatient treatment program for women with drug and mental health issues.

Crawley admitted to police that she was on a crack binge when she put her newborn daughter inside a cardboard box that was left on North 27th Street, and she said she expected and prayed the baby would be found by a passerby.

Fortunately, she was.  Prosecutor Tiffany Oldfield says Homer Keller heard the baby’s cries from inside the box on the sidewalk, on trash day.

“And I argued even today that the child is probably the ultimate hero here, who saved her own life by crying,” Oldfield says.   “But then Mr. Keller, who did the right thing and saw there was a baby in there, immediately called police.”

Crawley’s attorney, Patrick Link, says Crawley has terminated her parenting rights to the child, now one year old.


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