At first, Elysia Laub thought she was looking at a piglet that had escaped her pig pen. Only when she summoned her mom did she realize that the bundle, wrapped in a black towel in the backyard of her family's home in Lowell, Ind., was actually a newborn baby girl, reports CBS News. Authorities say the infant—full term but likely less than a day old, with the umbilical cord and placenta still attached, per WGN—had perhaps been left outside overnight and spent hours in the sun before Elysia found her while playing outside Monday morning. Her mom, Heidi Laub, "realized exactly what she had found," Lake County Sheriff John Buncich tells ABC 7. Laub says there were maggots on the placenta, per Patch.com. But except for sunburns, the child was in good health, Buncich says.
The baby was found about 100 yards from the nearest road in a "very rural area," he adds, per the Post-Tribune. "If the 9-year-old wouldn't have gone outside, this could've had a very different outcome." He calls Elysia a "guardian angel." Elysia says she had help: "I didn't do this myself." God "put me in that place." Authorities say the Caucasian baby with brownish-blonde hair, referred to as "Miracle Baby Jane Doe," will be sent to a foster home while officers search for her mother, who could face criminal charges. Indiana has a safe haven law allowing mothers to leave infants less than 30 days old at hospitals and police and fire stations without question. (A woman just graduated from the university where she was abandoned as a baby.)