Investigators responded to a neighborhood in Orion Township around 8:30 a.m. after neighbors reported a woman hiding in bushes and ringing residents’ doorbells. The woman apparently thought she was being chased by someone armed with guns, according to the sheriff’s office.
Deputies found the woman, who had fled the area by the time officers arrived, at an area middle school after employees reported a frantic woman pounding on the locked doors of the school.
After interviewing the 37-year-old woman, of Orion Township, officials determined at one point she may have had an infant with her. They also noticed she had burrs on her pants and might have been in “a field or wooded area.”
Thirteen sheriff’s patrol cars responded, and deputies used a drone and K-9 to search for the child, starting with a one-mile search grid that encompassed the woman’s home and the places she had been seen. Thirty minutes after learning the infant was missing, deputies found him in a wooded area on the banks of a creek. He was in a hypothermic state.
Deputies removed the child’s wet clothing and wrapped him in blankets. He was reportedly taken to an area hospital for medical treatment and observation. The child has since been placed in the care of child protective services.
“Thankfully, deputies were able to determine a baby was missing, which triggered an immediate large response and search, and they were able locate the child,” Sheriff Michael Bouchard said. “Their quick work avoided what could have been an unspeakable tragedy.”
It is unclear how long the infant had been in the woods.
Deputies believe the case may involve prescription drug abuse.
A warrant is being sought for the mother’s arrest on suspected child abuse.