Welfare check leads to discovery of newborn born in bathtub

YELM, Wash. -- A welfare check became the discovery of a lifetime for a Thurston County deputy.

Authorities got a tip a woman in Yelm may have given birth to a baby in a bathtub, and that the baby might be endangered.

Deputies say the case began with Child Protective Services, who says the woman was part of an ongoing investigation. Their concern was she had been using methamphetamine while pregnant, and although she was told to give birth at a hospital, she went several days past her due date, so authorities decided to intervene.

"Had intervention not been taking place there's a possibility the child could've passed away," said Sgt. Ray Brady with the Thurston County Sheriff's Office.

Enter deputy Mickey Hamilton, a recent transfer to the Thurston County Sheriff's office. He got a search warrant, but wasn't able to get into the home without a fight.

The woman claimed that she had not yet had her baby. When asked, the woman refused to allow the deputy to enter the home to verify that the baby had not been born.

"He had to force his way into the residence via the front door," Brady said. "He located her in the residence as well as a newborn baby girl."

Deputies say the baby girl was likely born in a bathtub at least a day prior, and that the mom's friend had tried to help.

"She actually had to watch a YouTube video to learn how to cut the umbilical cord on the child," Brady said. "There was some indication that was possibly several hours later."

The baby was taken to a local hospital and is in stable condition. Police are still trying to determine whether the mom might face charges.

Meanwhile, deputies were praising Brady for finding the baby girl in time.

"As a law enforcement officer, you never know what you're going to stumble into," Brady said. "(Hamilton) certainly did an excellent job in this case."

CPS says the girl was actually the 4th child to be removed from her mother's care.