Mother accused of leaving newborn on stranger's porch denied bond

ATLANTA — The woman accused of abandoning her newborn on the front porch of a northwest Atlanta was faced a judge for the first time Thursday.

Doretha Burkes, 22, was denied bond on charges of reckless conduct, cruelty to children and providing false information to police.

Investigators said Burkes told police she was homeless and left the child on the doorstep Sunday night because she could not care for her. However, police said they later learned Burkes was not actually homeless and that she lived with her mother in southwest Atlanta.


Police said she had been afraid to tell anyone she was pregnant for fear that her mother would kick her out. Police determined she has a job and another child.

"We believe she gave birth in the apartment, but that's not verified," Lt. Jeff Baxter with the Atlanta Police Department said.

She told police she did not know about the "safe haven" law, which allows mothers to leave infants up to seven days old at a medical facility.

Investigators said Tuesday that Burkes reached out to them asking about the child's condition.

Channel 2's Kristen Holloway was in the courtroom when Burkes appeared. Her attorney covered her face the entire appearance.

Burkes will remain in jail until her next court appearance Sept. 19.

Burkes' mother did not want to talk to the media.