Newborn baby found alive on top of Chicago bin

A newborn baby who was discovered atop a trash can in Chicago is now hospitalised in critical condition, the Associated Press reports.

A passerby found the infant boy and carried him to a fire station on Tuesday afternoon, according to Fire Department Deputy Chief Curtis Hudson. Firefighters had to perform CPR to keep the baby alive, a paramedic said at a news conference, according to WGN-TV.

The baby was reportedly just hours old and still had an umbilical cord attached. A fire department spokesman said the infant was bleeding and was initially "blue" and "unresponsive" with "no pulse",

Firefighters brought the baby to a hospital, where he started "crying and kicking." He was stabilised and later brought to another hospital.

"I don't know what it's like to have a child, be pregnant, and be in some horrible circumstances where you are driven to do something like this," Patrick Fitzmaurice, a paramedics field chief, said. "It almost sounds diabolical."

Chicago police have yet to determine who left the child on top of the garbage can, although the family of Marlen Ochoa-Uriostegui, a missing 19-year-old high school student, believe the baby is hers. The teenager's family has asked authorities to conduct a DNA test. Ochoa-Uriostegui went missing on April 23 and was nine months pregnant.

In 2001, Illinois' Abandoned Newborn Infant Protection Act decriminalised the act of relinquishing any baby up to 30 days old under the condition that the child was surrendered to a hospital, fire station, emergency medical centre or police station. Under the law, a parent can reclaim his or her infant within 72 hours if the baby was given to one of the latter three facilities.