Maryland woman charged for abandoning newborn girl in Silver Spring woods

An hours-old girl was found abandoned 10 feet from a Silver Spring sidewalk on Aug. 16. (Courtesy Montgomery County police)

A Maryland woman has been arrested and charged with abandoning a newborn girl in a Silver Spring forest in mid-August.

Leticia Guzman, 25, is charged with criminal child neglect and reckless endangerment for leaving her hours-old child in a wooded area off Tenbrook Drive on Aug. 16, according to Montgomery County court records.

A passerby heard crying coming from the forest and alerted authorities. Detectives determined the baby had been born only a few hours earlier, and after a public appeal for information, they received word of a woman visiting a hospital with physical signs of having given childbirth.

Guzman was arrested soon after, acknowledging to Montgomery County police that she gave birth to the baby and left her at a location she could not recall. A search warrant executed at her home uncovered evidence of a recent birth.

The baby girl is currently in stable condition under the care of Montgomery County’s Child Welfare Services program.

Under Maryland’s Safe Haven law, a distressed parent who is unwilling or incapable of caring for a newborn can give the child to a hospital or law enforcement within 10 days of the baby’s birth, without legal liability, so long as the child is unharmed.

Alejandro Alvarez

Alejandro Alvarez joined WTOP as a digital journalist and editor in June 2018. He is a reporter and photographer focusing on politics, political activism and international affairs.

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