Mother of abandoned newborn identified and arrested

Police arrested a 20-year-old Vietnamese national today after identifying her as the mother of a newborn baby found abandoned on a sidewalk in New Taipei City earlier today, March 27.

Police made the arrest in Banqiao District at around noon, after a 12-hour investigation, that included tracing the suspect via traffic monitor footage, and using information printed on the cardboard box the baby was found in.

Ms Ruan (阮), according to media reports, worked for an electronics company as a foreign migrant worker.

Speaking through interpreters, Ms Ruan tearfully admitted having abandoned the newborn baby girl because she was afraid of being repatriated, and had no means to raise a child.

According to Apple Daily, Ms Ruan arrived in Taiwan in March last year, and formed a relationship with a Vietnamese male co-worker shortly after.

Ms Ruan’s boyfriend left Taiwan several months ago, and Ruan realized she was pregnant as her belly became bigger and bigger.

At around 5:00pm yesterday, Ruan left work and returned to the dormitory suffering severe stomach pain. Ruan gave birth in the dormitory and cut the umbilical chord with a fruit knife.

Frightened at being discovered, Ruan wrapped the baby in a green towel, placed her in a cardboard box, and wanting to keep her warm, covered the infant with a jacket.

At around 7:00pm, Ruan took the baby to a sidewalk in Zhonghe District that she believed to be frequented by people, hoping that someone would find it, and provide it with the stable life that she couldn’t have provided herself.

After leaving the baby, Ms Ruan went back to the factory to continue working the night shift.

After making her statement, Ruan was transferred to the District Prosecutor’s Office to face charges of abandonment.

The baby was taken into care by the New Taipei City Social Affairs Department. A spokesperson for the department said that social workers will assess whether the mother is capable of taking care of the child.

Some reports in Taiwan’s Chinese-language press showed little empathy for the 20-year-old foreign worker.

Taiwan’s EBC News suggested that Ms Ruan was callous: “It’s ridiculous that she abandoned a baby then went back to work to do the night shift,” EBC reported.

Mirror Media reported that Ms Ruan “giggled lightheartedly” when approached by police, and “trembled in fear” after being taken back to the station. The Mirror Media report also noted that after abandoning the child, Ruan had returned to work as if nothing had happened.

Ms Ruan re-enacts, for police, how she loaded the baby onto the electric bicycle after giving birth in a foreign migrant worker dormitory in Banqiao District.
Ms Ruan re-enacts, for police, how she placed the box, containing the baby, on a sidewalk in Zhonghe District.
Cover picture for Mirror Media report, superimposing picture of knife with which Ms Ruan allegedly cut umbilical cord of baby after giving birth between day shift and night shift at a factory in New Taipei City.

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Sources: Apple Daily, SETN, Mirror Media.

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