Baby to Remain in State Custody

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SALT LAKE CITY (AP)-- A baby girl removed from her mother's home this weekend after Salt Lake City police found her hungry, dehydrated and wrapped in a feces-smeared bedsheet will remain in state custody indefinitely, a juvenile court judge ruled Tuesday.

No one has come forward to claim the nearly month-old infant. The 38-year-old mother did not appear for Tuesday's hearing, despite an offer by child welfare caseworkers to drive her.

"We have some real concerns about her mental health, so the baby will remain in our care," said Carol Sisco, a spokeswoman for the state's Division of Child and Family Services.

Sisco said the baby is doing well and taking formula. Caseworkers found no other family members. Third District Judge Dane Nolan scheduled another hearing Nov. 1 to weigh child neglect charges. If necessary, the Guardian ad Litem attorney appointed to represent the baby will serve a warrant on the mother to compel her to appear in court.

In the meantime, "our caseworkers will be over there talking to her, just seeing what we can find out," Sisco said. "This is obviously a situation where somebody needs help. I hope she lets us provide it so we can reunite mom and child."

(Copyright 2005 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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