NEW HAVEN, Conn. (WTNH) – Police in Connecticut said Tuesday that an 8-month-old girl found severely burned and abandoned in a dumpster last week has been released from the hospital to family members.
A 24-year-old Hamden woman, who is believed to be the child’s babysitter, was arrested.
Police officials said, “As the child continues to recover from burn injuries, the Department of Children and Families (DCF) and the New Haven Police Department are still investigating the cause of her injuries.”
New Haven resident Perry Dennis said he found the child when he went to throw out a box of Corn Flakes cereal.
Maintenance worker Rick Chardon, who was there to help, said she had horrible burns on both hands.
“Both her little hands, they were pink and puffy and gooey,” he said. “It was horrible to see that on a baby.”
Dennis said he wrapped her in a pink blanket.
“I threw the blanket away a little while ago,” he said. “Every time I look at the blanket I see the baby’s face…I’m still thinking about the baby. As long as the baby is fine, getting better, that’s all that matters to me.”
Andiana Velez, who had been caring for the child since Friday, is accused of stabbing the child’s 21-year-old mother with a kitchen knife at a gas station earlier in the day before dumping the burned infant in the trash.
She was charged with risk of injury to a child, assault second degree and reckless endangerment first degree.
Velez appeared in court on Tuesday. She sobbed as she was dragged off by court marshals.
She claims it was the child’s mother who gave her the burn marks.
The baby’s family declined to speak to reporters, but as for the pair who found her, they just hope and pray she recovers physically and emotionally.
“I’m rocking her and I’m holding her and I can feel her body settle from the shivering and nervousness, and she looks at me and I say, ‘she’s going to be alright,'” Chardon recalled.