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Gas Station

The Exxon gas station at 3692 Saint Matthews Road, near the junction of Interstate 26.

COURTESY GOOGLE.COM

Authorities are seeking the man who allegedly walked into an Orangeburg gas station and asked if anyone wanted a 5-day-old baby.

The incident remains under investigation, Orangeburg County Sheriff’s Office spokesman Richard Walker said.

The incident occurred at about 1:26 p.m. Wednesday at the Exxon gas station at 3692 St. Matthews Road, near the junction of Interstate 26.

The employee told deputies the man entered the station, “and asked if anyone wanted a 5-day-old baby,” according to a sheriff’s office incident report.

The man said he was coming from Florida and was trying to get to Santee or back home.

The employee stated that the man exited the store and asked a customer for some money.

The customer appeared to have given the man $5.

The man then returned to the inside of the gas station, purchased $3 in gas and asked if the store sold milk for babies, the report said.

Another employee reported that the man was driving a gray Mercury Mariner with the last three digits of a South Carolina license plate “370.”

The man entered the vehicle and left the business, going toward I-26.

Deputies contacted dispatchers, who provided a vehicle description to other officers in the area.

Deputies reached the S.C. Law Enforcement Division’s fusion center so they could cross-reference the license plate information with its corresponding vehicle match.

Sheriff’s office investigators are also trying to review footage from the store’s video surveillance system.

The incident report says the case will remain active, “until further information is obtained to check (on) the welfare of the minor child.”

If anyone has any information about the person who visited the Exxon gas station on Saint Matthews Road, they are asked to contact the sheriff’s office at 803-534-3550 or Crimestoppers at 1-888-CRIME-SC.

Parents in crisis who wish to safely give their babies to a loving family may lawfully do so within 60 days by surrendering the unharmed baby at a “safe haven.”

“Daniel’s Law” is named for an infant boy who survived after being buried in a landfill soon after his birth.

Nurses named him Daniel as he recovered at a hospital.

Lawmakers enacted “Daniel’s Law” to prevent dangerous and often fatal abandonments.

“Daniel’s Law” is intended to save babies. It is not intended to hurt or punish anyone.

A person who abandons a newborn cannot be prosecuted for abandonment if he or she takes the unharmed baby to staff or an employee of a safe haven.

Safe Havens are defined as hospital or hospital outpatient facilities, law enforcement agencies, fire stations, emergency medical services stations or houses of worship during the time the church or synagogue is staffed.

The person leaving the child will be asked to provide medical information about the baby’s parents and, if possible, the name of the baby’s parents. This will help the medical personnel treat the baby for any health problems.

The person leaving the child does not have to reveal his or her identity.

Contact the writer: mbrown@timesanddemocrat.com or 803-533-5545. Follow on Twitter: @MRBrownTandD

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Crime Reporter

Martha Rose Brown covers crime and other topics. The South Carolina native has been a journalist for the past 15 years.

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