Phoenix police and fire officials found a dead newborn baby girl at or near full term in an Amazon (AMZN) distribution center at 8:30 p.m. on Dec. 16. Responders were called to the scene with a report of “a deceased infant in the women’s restroom located inside the secured facility,” the Phoenix Police Department said during a briefing.
The fire department determined the infant was deceased and beyond resuscitation, but details of the cause of death are pending a medical examiner’s report, police said.
Police have located the child’s mother and spoken with her, a police spokesperson said, but have released no information about her identity, including whether or not she is an Amazon employee.
An Amazon spokesperson said in a statement, “This is a terribly sad and tragic incident. We are working with local authorities to support their investigation. The safety and wellness of our team is our top priority.”
Arizona, like many other states, has a Safe Haven Law, which allows a parent to hand off a baby within three days of birth to a variety of institutions, including hospitals and fire stations, with no legal repercussions. If a parent doesn’t return to reclaim their child, parental rights are terminated within a few months.
Amazon has four warehouses in the greater Phoenix area and employs over 1,000 full-time workers, the company said. In the past, the company has faced criticism of its intense work culture among both white-collar employees and warehouse workers.
In the UK last year, one warehouse associate claimed in a meeting with lawmakers that one of her colleagues had suffered a miscarriage due to working conditions. Amazon said at the time that it was “simply not correct to suggest that we have unsafe working conditions based on this data or on unsubstantiated anecdotes.”