Newborn abandonment case prompts renewed emphasis on 'safe haven' efforts

In 20 years of community organizing, resulting in more than 300 cases of newborns saved from infant abandonment, Floridian Nick Silverio has never actually witnessed a criminal child abandonment in progress.

Until, that is, a group of people looking through a dumpster in New Mexico Jan. 7 discovered a newborn infant boy in Hobbs near the Texas border still alive and reportedly wrapped in a dirty blanket with its umbilical cord still attached.

Surveillance video taken outside near the dumpster and recently aired on national news led police to the arrest of a teen mother, showing the moments Alexis Avila, 18, allegedly tossed a black garbage bag into the dumpster.

Police have charged the woman, who has confessed to the crime, with attempted murder and child abuse.

Avila reportedly told police she gave birth to the boy in her parents' bathroom earlier in the day and panicked. She allegedly stuffed the baby inside two plastic bags, one with other trash, and put it in the dumpster.

"She got out of the car very slowly and threw the baby in like you would throw out the trash -- we have never seen that happen (on video)," said Silverio, a former information technology business owner who is the founder of A Safe Haven For Newborns near Miami.