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OXNARD : Teen-Ager Accused of Leaving Baby

A 16-year-old girl was arrested at an Oxnard high school Friday and accused of abandoning her newborn last week in a patch of ivy.

The Oxnard teen-ager admitted that she was the mother of the infant girl, nicknamed “Baby Ivy,” Detective Ed Neitzel said. Neitzel said she asked for the child back.

“The first words out of her mouth were ‘Do I still have a chance?’ ” Neitzel said. He described the girl as a “real likable young lady” who expressed concern for her child’s health.

The teen-ager was arrested on a charge of willful abandonment after police received a tip from an anonymous caller, Neitzel said. The girl was ordered to appear at the Juvenile Intake Unit of the Corrections Services Agency and was released into the custody of her mother, authorities said.

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The newborn baby was discovered May 9 by a woman who lived in an apartment building in the 5300 block of South J Street in Oxnard. Police said the woman told them that she heard crying, went outside her second-floor apartment and found the baby wrapped in newspaper.

Officials at St. John’s Regional Medical Center Hospital said the baby was in good health despite the fact that her umbilical cord had been severed with a blunt object and had not been tied off. The infant was placed in a foster home.

She will remain there until the Ventura County Public Social Services Agency, which oversees about 650 children who are dependents of the court, determines whether the mother is fit to care for the child.

To get her baby back, the mother must prove that she has a place to live, a way to support the baby and the skills necessary to be a parent. The mother will be asked to undergo a psychological evaluation.

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