Mother charged with neglect in baby abandonment case

May 20, 2024 | 911 caller alerts authorities about baby (WTOP's Mike Murillo reports)

WASHINGTON — A Maryland mother is facing charges after her infant girl was found in a car seat on the side of the road. A Pasadena, Maryland, resident called police late Saturday night after finding the baby.

Shortly before 10 a.m. Sunday, the Anne Arundel County police said a woman claiming to be the child’s mother contacted them. The woman said the baby’s father was supposed to have the child. She also said the father didn’t know where the child was.

A 2-3-month-old girl was found abandoned by Anne Arundel police on Saturday night. (Anne Arundel County)
A 2- to 3-month-old girl was found abandoned by Anne Arundel police on Saturday night. (Anne Arundel County)

The woman, later identified as Sandra McClary, said she didn’t have the child, and did not know of the whereabouts. She provided a general description that matched that of the recovered infant. The mother was taken to Eastern District, where she identified her child.

McClary, 26, has been charged with child neglect and reckless endangerment, police say. Bail has been set at $500,000.

“We were inundated with requests to adopt this child [Sunday],” county police lieutenant T.J. Smith said Monday. “It just makes your stomach turn to think that this child was left out underneath fireworks and gunfire on July 4th.”

The six-week-old baby girl was found near the 900 block of Druid Hill Avenue after 11 p.m. Saturday. Scuff marks on the carrier and other debris indicate the carrier may have fallen off a moving vehicle, the police say.

During the investigation, officers took a partial tag of a vehicle located in the area where the child was found. While questioning McClary, detectives discovered she was in the 900 block of Druid Hill Avenue and removed the child from the vehicle before leaving her.

That vehicle’s registration matched that of the partial tag that officers established had left the area around the time the incident occurred.

Detectives say that there still may be more arrests and/or more charges in this case, and Smith says the abandonment “could be related to a domestic dispute.”

The infant was taken to a local hospital; she was released to the care of Social Services, the police say.

McClary is also awaiting trial on charges including armed robbery and second-degree assault. She was arrested last September in connection with armed robberies that happened in July and August of last year.

Those Baltimore holdups of a convenience store and a liquor store happened 2.4 miles and one mile away from McClary’s current address.

McClary’s trial has been postponed twice. The last motion from her lawyer in the case was to postpone the trial until July 7.

William H. Cooke, McClary’s public defender, tells WTOP her new trial date on the robbery charges is September 29.

The investigation into the missing baby is ongoing. Anyone with information should call the Anne Arundel County Police Department at 410-222-6145 or call 911.

July 5, 2015 | Baby left in the roadway in Pasadena (Dick Uliano)

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