A 30-year-old Australian woman reportedly told police she knew that tossing her newborn into a stormwater drain would lead to the boy's death. Except, unbelievably, it didn't. The unnamed woman has been charged with attempted murder after the child was found early yesterday by cyclists who heard a noise emanating from the drain; seven people managed to removed the concrete lid and access the infant, the Sydney Morning Herald reports. The Sydney-area woman was arrested hours later, having been located via hospital records by police who went door to door in the area, reports the BBC; the baby was found in what looked like a hospital-issue blanket, and "the umbilical cord had been cut and had been clamped so there appears to have been some sort of medical intervention since his birth," per a local police inspector.
Court documents state she "made full admissions to putting the less than 24-hour-old baby down a [nearly 8-foot] drain knowing it may kill the baby." Police believe the child was born Monday and deposited in the drain the next day, meaning the boy may have survived an incredible five days without food, notes the BBC. The baby is reported to be in stable condition. A cyclist who was among the first on the scene described the baby as having plastic "cushioning" around his body: "I think that saved the baby." The Morning Herald talks to a pediatrician who explains how the child managed to survive so long without food: A mother's milk often doesn't come in until the fourth day, and so babies are born with reserves of fluid and glucose. Still, "what was surprising was that the baby had a vigorous cry after five days. He wouldn't have lasted much longer." (Read more newborn stories.)