Chicago community holds memorial service for abandoned baby found dead outside firehouse

Parishioners at one Near North Side church mourned the loss of an abandoned baby boy during a prayer service Thursday evening.

According to police, around 5 a.m. Saturday, Jan. 15, the body of a newborn was found in a duffel bag outside a Chicago Fire Department station near Orleans Street and Hill Street.

Immaculate Conception and St. Joseph Parish, located just steps away from where the child was found, held a memorial service Thursday – as so many questions remain surrounding the child's tragic death.

"For me the hardest part and what seems to be the most difficult part of this situation is in the end, he was all alone," said Rev. Larry Lisowski, Immaculate Conception and St. Joseph Parish pastor. "He was by himself, left in the cold, on a street in the middle of the night. And he was abandoned in the darkest part of the night."

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Lisowski said the boy’s death has been weighing heavy on him.

"He is part of our family, he is our spiritual son that we adopt," said Lisowski.

Organizations, including Save Abandoned Babies and Rest in His Arms were in attendance. They are raising awareness about the Safe Haven Law.

"The baby was steps away from being saved and put in loving arms," said Charles Cranmer, Save Abandoned Babies.

"A parent in crisis can just take an unharmed newborn up to 30 days old and place the baby in the arms of staff. There’s no questions asked," said Susan Schulenberg, Rest in His Arms founder.

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In this case, however, the baby was placed outside instead of being handed to personnel.

His death has left those nearby to reflect in prayer in a place they often find peace.

"He was anonymous to me but he is still a life. I think it was important for our parish to come together and understand that every life has value," said Lisa Lukens, parishioner.

Detectives are still investigating who left the child at the fire department. The baby's cause of death has not yet been determined.