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article imageMother ashamed after brother abandons toddler in recycling bin

By Megan Hamilton     Jan 7, 2015 in Crime
Winnipeg - The mother of a little girl abandoned in a recycling bin on New Year's Day said she feels ashamed about what happened to her daughter, but added that she's grateful to the man who rescued her.
Police are alleging that the woman's 17-year-old brother took the 22-month-old toddler from a house in the North End area and abandoned her in a recycling bin on Pritchard Avenue, CBC News reports.
The little girl wasn't dressed for freezing weather, which was -13 C, but with a wind chill factor that made it feel more like -24 C at the time when the incident occurred.
Recycling bin in the freezing cold  where the toddler was found.
Recycling bin in the freezing cold, where the toddler was found.
YouTube screen grab
"I felt really hurt that I let my daughter down," the young woman said, per CBC News. She can't be identified because her daughter is now being cared for by Child and Family Services (CFS). "I felt bad as a parent that that happened to her."
The little girl was in the recycling bin for about 15 minutes before being discovered by Robert Keno, who was on his way home from a party when he heard her cries and found her.
"I picked up this baby, and I yelled back out there to call the cops," he told CBC News. "I just found a baby in a garbage can."
Later, he talked to CTV News and said that when he lifted the lid and the little girl looked up at him, "my heart dropped." The toddler was only wearing a diaper and tights.
"She was looking up at me and I went and grabbed her, pulled her out," he said, visibly emotional, the station reports.
The toddler was transported to a hospital. Her condition was originally reported as life-threatening, but it has now been upgraded to stable.
While most people wouldn't think that turning belligerent after drinking heavily and then being kicked out is a fortunate thing, but in this case it was, because that's what happened to Keno, and that's why he discovered the baby.
Shortly after being kicked out, the 17-year-old male picked up the little girl at the party and left the house, CTV News reports. Then he allegedly threw her in the recycling bin.
"When I picked her up I could see that she was swollen," Keno said.
It was a sobering moment for him.
The toddler was also injured when the accused teenager fell on top of her when he left the party with her in his arms, investigators told CTV News.
"This could have been much more tragic than it already is," Winnipeg Police Constable Eric Hofley said.
The girl's mother, who is 20, said she watched as the paramedics placed her child in an ambulance, CTV News reports here. The little girl's face bore scratches, she said.
The young woman told the station that she left her daughter in the care of her younger brother--the girl's uncle, after a fight between Keno and her older brother spilled outside.
"Just before everything happened, they were playing ... guns in the hallway," she said. "They were going 'bang, bang' to each other. They were just running around, having fun."
"I thought she would have been safe."
Safe, she wasn't. The girl's mother now reports that her daughter has a cracked skull from the incident, but is going to recover. The child is now in the care of CFS for the time being.
The young woman told CBC News that she has reached out to Keno and thanked him for rescuing the little girl.
"I'm so grateful that he saved her," she said. "I don't know where I'd be right now if he didn't find her." She added that she hopes to bring her daughter home soon.
She doesn't know what her brother's reasons were for taking the girl, except for the fact that he'd been drinking.
After he allegedly dumped the toddler into the recycling bin, the woman's brother returned to the party, where police say he then got into a physical altercation with a 13-year-old girl.
By then, Keno had walked to his house nearby. The recycling bin is behind his home and he could hear the cries of the toddler.
Among the charges the girl's uncle now faces, per CBC News:
• Assault.
• Possession or consumption of liquor by a minor.
• Causing bodily harm by criminal negligence.
• Abandoning a child.
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