Newborn baby with umbilical cord still attached found lying in freezing road

The California Highway Patrol's Alfred Medina holds the infant girl who was found in the town of Madera Ranchos

An investigation has been launched to find out who abandoned the newborn baby.

The unidentified man told the mother to take her child to the fire station or a nearby children's hospital - but the women just drove away.

He initially thought it was an animal until he got closer before realising it was a newborn baby.

Authorities rescued a newborn girl early on Monday after she was found lying on the road in California's Madera County.

Aurelio Fuentes Jr. was two hours into his rounds at around 4:00 a.m. when he spotted a "bright, white thing laying on the road" in the 35000 block of Avenue 13 ½, Madera, he told ABC30.

The temperature at the time was below 30 degrees and the baby was wearing only a soiled onesie, the CHP said. The good Samaritan immediately took the newborn inside his vehicle and called 911. But "as soon as I got out of the auto, I realized it was a real baby", he said.

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Minutes before Fuentes called for help, a woman approached a man walking his dog in the area, the Madera County Sheriff's Office said.

First responders - including a fire truck, ambulance and officers from the Madera Country Sheriff's Office - soon arrived and rushed the baby via ambulance to Valley Children's Hospital, where it was taken to the neonatal intensive care unit, according to a Facebook post by the Sheriff's Office. Authorities are now investigating the identity and whereabouts of the mother.

"The man directed her to the fire station and the Valley Children's Hospital down the street, and suggested she take the baby there".

She is described by witnesses as a Hispanic female adult, possibly in her early 20's. She left the scene in a small white SUV of unknown make or model.

California Safe Surrendered Baby law lets parents turn their babies over to police within 72 hours of the child's birth with no questions asked.

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