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Sewer pipe miracle baby leaves China hospital; No charges for mother


Baby 59, who was rescued after being trapped in a sewage pipe moments after his birth, lies in an incubator in China.

BEIJING – The mother of a baby that was found trapped in a China sewer pipe will not face any charges, police said Thursday, as the boy left hospital with his grandparents.

Police in Jinhua City, Zhejiang province said the incident was being treated as an accident, despite the 22-year old mother’s initial refusal to claim the baby until confronted by officers.

Police had previously suggested the mother, who they did not identify, could face attempted murder charges.

The baby at the center of Saturday's stunning two-hour rescue - known in China as No. 59 because of his hospital incubator number - was released into the custody of the birth mother’s parents, according to Chinese state news agency, Xinhua, citing an official at the Pujiang county propaganda office in Zhejiang.

The mother, her parents and the suspected father – pending a paternity test requested by the man – will all help support and raise the child.

An official at the Pujiang People’s Hospital said the boy was suffering from jaundice but had received treatment for the ailment before being discharged.

Officials stressed though that the boy’s overall prognosis was good and that, besides a few remaining bruises to his head, legs and arms, he is healthy.

Meanwhile, the man suspected of being the father is currently under investigation, according to Jinhua police. Officials said the man accused of having a one night stand with the mother was not in police custody, but declined to say whether he had turned himself into authorities.

Local media reports on Wednesday said the mother had become pregnant after a one-night stand. Unable to afford an abortion and with her partner unwilling to acknowledge it was his child, the mother took to hiding the pregnancy by wearing baggy clothes and tying strips of cloth around her stomach.

The woman who alerted authorities to the sounds of a baby stuck in a sewer pipe has admitted that she is the mother. Police are treating the case as an attempted homicide.

She then secretly gave birth to the boy in a fourth-floor public bathroom of the building where she lived, only to reportedly have the baby slip from her hands after delivery. The boy dropped into the open, squat-style toilet and slid down into the narrow 4-inch in diameter sewer pipe.

Not wanting her child, but unwilling to leave him to die in the drain, she reportedly notified a neighbor of sounds coming from the pipes, who then called police to investigate.     

Firefighters were then called to gently cut the child free from the pipe using pliers and handsaws.

The mother has been subjected to near universal condemnation on Chinese social media.

The Associated Press reported that the mother had told police that she had initially refused to step forward because she had been frightened about the incident, but eventually had a change of heart and told officials she was in fact the mother.

Earlier reports said the mother had been compelled to confess she was the mother after police entered her home two days after the rescue and asked her to undergo a medical exam.

NBC News’ Huang Pei and Dalin Liu contributed to this report.


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