Marshals find newborn in closet while serving eviction notice

By: Tyisha Fernandes

Updated:

ATLANTA - Fulton County marshals said they made a shocking discovery while serving an eviction notice at an abandoned apartment: a newborn sleeping in a closet. 

Channel 2’s Tyisha Fernandes learned the child was found wrapped in a blanket in a basket.

The marshals came to the apartment complex to serve an eviction order. Initially, they didn’t hear or see anyone in the place, but said they ended up finding an infant in a laundry basket in a bedroom closet.

“If they were willing to leave the baby behind, I don’t think they were too remorseful,” said Fulton County Lt. Quintin Hill.


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Hill said investigators find all sorts of things when they serve eviction orders, including drugs, money, weapons. But late last year, the two marshals were performing a sweep after serving an eviction order in a southwest Atlanta apartment and found something they will never forget.

“During that sweep, they stumbled across a child – a child that was asleep – conscious, breathing,” Hill said.

It was a 3-week-old girl. She was left in a dark closet, inside a laundry basket, with a blanket over her. No food, no water and no adult supervision, authorities said.

“A child belongs to someone, and that particular individual is responsible for that child, and by Georgia law, that individual broke the law by abandoning that child,” Hill said.

Police said the child’s mother, Jacqueline Cunningham, abandoned the baby. They charged her with reckless conduct and cruelty to children. She served 47 days in jail and bonded out. Fernandes obtained several documents on the case and learned that Cunningham was indicted a year prior on three counts of family violence.

The documents said she attacked her children’s father with a knife in front of her children.

Fernandes contacted the Department of Family and Children Services, whose officials said they couldn’t comment on the case, but Fernandes did speak to the children’s grandfather, who said Cunningham never got the infant back. But she does have her other two kids, who are 11 and 13 years old.

Fulton County officials said the mother of the infant hasn’t even been indicted on this case yet and the case hasn’t moved forward.

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