Police: Newborn Baby Found Inside St. Paul Cathedral

January 06, 2017 05:30 AM

A church employee found a newborn baby inside the Cathedral of Saint Paul on Wednesday night, police said Thursday.

"It was very clear that the baby was very, very young," The Rev. John Ubel, of the Cathedral of Saint Paul, said. "He had not been fully washed or anything if that nature."


According to Sgt. Mike Ernster, a member of the cathedral's maintenance staff found the uninjured newborn in a small basket lined with blankets. The staff member brought the baby to Ubel, who immediately called police.

"I almost thought my ears were ringing. I even kind of pinched my fingers to feel pain, like, am I dreaming,” Nathan Leonhardt said.

“I said 'Nathan, I'm baptizing the baby Nathan,' and I thought that was the appropriate thing as well," Ubel said. "This is an amazing man. He's a hero.”

While the cathedral doesn't technically fall under the Newborn Safety Act as a designated spot to leave a newborn, Ernster said he is glad the baby was left in a safe place.

"Somebody chose life," Ubel said. "And that's the most important thing." 

Ernster said the baby was taken to Children's Hospitals and Clinics in St. Paul. The baby is now under the care of the hospital staff and the Ramsey County Child Protection Services, authorities said.

Ernster also said authorities are concerned for the mother's health. He said they are concerned the mother gave birth alone and may be suffering from post-birth complications. He said while police do not know the mother's location, they are hoping she will call 911 or a contact a hospital if she needs help.

No criminal charges will be filed, Ernster said.

"I am profoundly grateful that this beautiful baby is healthy and safe and that whomever dropped him off at the Cathedral felt that this was a safe place where he would receive the care he needs and deserves as a child of God," Ubel said in a statement.


Rebecca Omastiak and Brandi Powell

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