A newspaper delivery man on his morning round got the shock of his life when he found a newborn baby lying in the middle of the road.
The little girl was in onesie pyjamas with her umbilical cord still attached.
Aurelio Fuentes Jr., from Madera County in California, was several hours into his shift when the 21-year-old saw “a bright white thing laying on the road”, US news outlet ABC30 reported.
Initially, he thought it was some kind of animal before realising it was a baby girl.
He immediately called 911 and waited with the baby until an ambulance arrived, fearful the little girl might be taken by the coyotes common to the area.
“It could’ve been worse because it’s pitch black out. There could’ve been coyotes, there’s cars going by fast down that road,” Mr Fuentes said.
The baby was taken to a neonatal intensive care unit at Valley Children’s Hospital.
“The baby was cold, but luckily she was discovered early enough that she’ll make a full recovery,” Madera County Sheriff Office undersheriff Tyson Pogue said.
An investigation has been launched to find out who abandoned the newborn baby.
Police are interviewing neighbours and looking at surveillance video in the area to see if they can find any clues.
A witness said he had encountered a woman with a baby just minutes before the infant was found who had begged him to take the child, US outlet ABC News reported.
“He was approached by a female driving a white, smaller SUV,” Undersheriff Pogue said.
“The man directed her to the fire station and the Valley Children’s Hospital down the street, and suggested she take the baby there.”
The suspect could face charges of child endangerment and possibly attempted murder, Undersheriff Pogue said.
In California, parents or persons with lawful custody can safely surrender an infant within 72 hours of birth, no questions asked, under the Safely Surrendered Baby Law.