Rescue crews rush to save crying baby in donation bin, but it was a doll

Crying doll in donation bin sparks emergency response (NBC News)
Crying doll in donation bin sparks emergency response (NBC News)

AVON, Indiana (WTHR) Julie Potter thought it was going to be a quick stop to drop off clothes Monday morning at a Special Olympics donation box.

Instead, Potter ended up on the phone with 911.

“I’m here in front of the Hobby Lobby in Avon and I was dropping off some clothes and I can hear a baby crying down in this drop off,” Potter told the dispatcher.

Potter, a mom and grandma, has had plenty of experience with crying babies. She knows what they sound like, but had never heard one inside a donation box.

“You could just hear the crying and the swishing around,” Potter said. “Then it like stopped for a second and then it started all over again, the crying and the rustling around.”

Time was ticking.

“I just thought ‘we gotta get her out of here, we gotta get the baby out of here’.”

Potter stayed on the phone with 911 while she waited for police to get to the shopping plaza. She said every second that it took seemed to drag on forever.

She also tried to get inside the bin because she wanted to check on the baby, but she wasn’t tall enough.

Emergency crews arrived within a few minutes.

When a medic jumped up to look inside the donation box, what he found was the last thing anyone was expecting.

“He saw it was a doll,” said Potter.

You read that right. A doll.

“It sounded so real,” said Potter.

“Even the medic on scene said that he thought it was real when he first got here and then he had looked inside of the box and saw that it was fake,” said Avon Police Officer Eric Hollingsworth.

“I just never heard anything like that except a real baby,” said Potter.

“Better safe than sorry,” said Hollingsworth.

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