Rafael Dieguez hadn’t set out to become a hero early Wednesday morning; he only intended to walk his two dogs. But a hero is exactly what he became after stopping to help what he thought was a small animal inside an underground rubbish bin.
“It sounded like the meow of a cat,” the 29-year-old told Spanish Daily ABC. “There was a cat nearby and I thought another one could have slipped inside.”
He called a friend of his over to help fish the animal out, but when they lifted the lid, the two men got the shock of a lifetime. It was not a cat, but a baby trapped down inside that bin.
“When we opened the lid, we were stunned. It sounded like the cries of a baby,” Dieguez said. “And then there was silence. Alarmed, I called the police.”
Civil Guard officers Carlos Rodrigues and Andres Moyano were the first to arrive on the scene. They called in firefighters and a tow truck to lift the container so the baby could be removed.
“You could hear the agonized cries of the child,” Officer Rodriguez, a father of two, told ABC. “The minutes felt like hours. The truck was not coming and the baby had stopped crying. We considered the possibility of going inside ourselves to save him. It was very deep, but we tried to squeeze in and could not fit.”
When the truck did arrive, they were able to tip the bin and empty its contents. On top, they found a backpack with a bottle and an infant about two weeks old, wrapped in bed sheets. He was immediately transported to a nearby hospital and is now reported to be in a healthy condition. He will remain in care of city authorities until he can be placed in a group residence or with a foster family.
Officials did find the mother of the infant, thanks to the bottle left with him. It had been issued by the Alacala de Henares hospital. By searching through the list of women and cross-referencing their blood types with the babies, there were able to link it to a birth that took place on June 30th. The mother, who already has three children (ages 11, 5, and 4) was arrested on Thursday morning and remains in custody.
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