Person of interest sought after baby found abandoned in Lakewood Walmart bathroom

LAKEWOOD, Calif. (KABC) -- Authorities are searching for a person of interest after a baby was found abandoned in a Walmart bathroom in Lakewood.

Around 11:45 a.m. on Oct. 8, a baby boy between 12 to 15 months was spotted by a customer in the bathroom of the store in the 2700 block of East Carson Street. The customer notified an employee, who then called police.

"I'm happy to say that the baby is doing OK. He is being well taken care of and he's safe. But at this point, we do not know who that child is or who he belongs to," said Lt. Todd Deeds, with the L.A. County Sheriff's Department.

Authorities reviewed surveillance footage in an attempt to identify a suspect or suspects, but no one has been identified. However, authorities found a man they are saying is a person of interest whom they want to speak with.

The man was flagged as a person of interest because he entered with a backpack that appeared full when he walked into the store, but not when he walked out.

"The baby was on the tile floor, next to the toilet. He wasn't wrapped in a blanket. He didn't have a carrier. He was left pretty exposed," Deeds said.

Authorities said they did not see anyone holding a baby and there's not enough information to call the man a suspect in the case.

When he left the store, he headed toward a beige or gold 2000 or 2001 Jeep Grand Cherokee Laredo that did not have any license plates.

"If they would have just gone to a hospital, or a sheriff's station, or a fire station and said, 'I can't do this. We can't take care of this baby for one reason or another,' we'll help them," Deeds said.

Authorities said the child's parents or guardians have not been identified and no one has reported a baby missing.

Anyone with more information is urged to call the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department's special victims bureau toll-free tip line at (877) 710-5273. Those wishing to remain anonymous may also call Crime Stoppers at (800) 222-8477.
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