Early yesterday morning, St. Tammany Parish Sheriff’s deputies responded to a 911 call reporting the discovery of an abandoned newborn baby.
At approximately 7:00 a.m., a 13 year old boy called 911 reporting that he and his 15 year old sister had discovered a crying newborn baby wrapped in a towel and a blanket on the ground in their backyard. The two teens brought the infant inside the residence and called 911.
The teens’ father (Johnny Lee – DOB: 5/5/73) was at the residence. Lee used blankets to warm the infant until first responders arrived.
Deputies responded to the address – 36385 Teat Blackwell Rd., Pearl River – along with emergency medical personnel. First responders arrived and found a breathing baby with its umbilical cord attached.
The baby was immediately transported to Northshore Regional Medical Center and was eventually air-lifted to Oschner hospital on the southshore. The infant is reported now to be stable, but in critical condition.
Detectives responded to the scene and began interviewing Lee and the teenagers. During the course of the interview, investigators learned that Lee’s wife, Kimberly Lee (DOB: 01/06/77), had been pregnant. Lee was unaware that she had given birth and reported she left the house that morning to go to work.
St. Tammany deputies contacted Mrs. Lee, who was on the south shore, and instructed her to report immediately to the nearest hospital, which she did. Investigators from St. Tammany interviewed Lee yesterday at the hospital and learned she had given birth to the baby before noon the previous day (Monday) and placed the baby outside her residence. It was also learned that she concealed the birth from her family by wearing oversized clothes.
Investigators have obtained warrants for Kimberly Lee’s arrest for second degree cruelty to a juvenile and child desertion. She is still being treated medically and the warrants are expected to be executed upon her release. The investigation is on-going as detectives determine whether criminal charges against anyone else are warranted.
The Lee’s also have an 8 year old daughter who was at the residence during the incident. The Louisiana Department of Children and Family Services is involved in the case to ensure that the children are in a safe environment.