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In the entryway of an apartment building in Or Yehuda where a newborn baby girl was discovered early Sunday morning, neighbors have thrown clumps of red dirt to cover the grisly scene.
Blood, however, still speckles through where the newborn was abandoned with her umbilical cord still attached and the placenta nearby.
At approximately 7 a.m., a neighbor discovered the baby as she was taking out her garbage. Her screams woke neighbors, who called the police.
The baby was listed in critical condition by paramedics, and later succumbed to exposure and frostbite at Sheba Hospital in Tel Hashomer. Police estimate that the newborn had spent three to four hours wrapped only in a sheet before the neighbor found her.
"We are currently looking for the mother," said local police chief Ronen Yosef. He added that the mother would now face changes of homicide in addition to abandonment.
"I hear the girl was Ethiopian. The mother is probably dead, she lost too much blood," speculated Meir Kauv, who lives across from the building where the newborn was found. He pointed to a long stream of blood that led up to the building as his evidence. Police could not confirm the ethnicity of the newborn nor the state of the mother.
After the initial media frenzy Sunday morning, only the locals were left, gathered outside the apartment building to discuss the rumors surrounding the case.
"I am not surprised this happened, I would not be surprised by anything in this neighborhood," said Amos Shem-Tov. "If I woke up tomorrow and found a man stabbed to death, I would just nod and say yes, this is how our neighborhood is now."
Although Or Yehuda has always been a working-class neighborhood, locals said that the proximity to the new terminal at Ben-Gurion Airport has destroyed local businesses and prompted many to move.
"All day long, and all night long, you hear the thunder of the planes," said Shem-Tov. "Our children all have hearing problems."
Dozens of children, including Shem-Tov's, lined the street where the newborn had been found. The police tape has long since been taken down by the children and used as jump rope, and they now eagerly inquired whether passersby wanted to hear about the incident.
"What do you want to know," yelled out one boy. "I'll tell you the whole story for NIS 100."
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