Mom of baby found in box sentenced to rehab

PHILADELPHIA - December 20, 2012

34-year-old Patricia "Dina" Crawley admitted to dumping her baby in a box on a street corner in North Philadelphia - just four days before Christmas. A year later, she got an early Christmas gift from the judge.

It was one year ago today that Crawley left her newborn daughter in a box outside a daycare center. The baby was wrapped in blankets inside the box, which sat there for fourteen hours, through the night, until it was discovered by a handyman the next morning.

The man was sweeping up when he heard the baby crying. He then found her in the box.

The infant was nursed back to health at the hospital, where she was named "Baby Noel".

Crawley was found months later, and admitted to police that she had been high on crack at the time and panicked when she gave birth. She said she hoped someone would find the baby.

The prosecutor argued that Crawley was only thinking of herself, and that it wasn't about finding a safe harbor for the baby – it was about getting rid of the baby.

The judge disagreed during her sentencing Thursday morning. She said she has seen a lot worse done by mothers who were high at the time and said there was something inside Crawley that said 'I'm at least going to do the best I can.'

At the time, Crawley had an admitted $300 a day crack addiction. She was selling herself to pay for the drugs. The judge took her severe addiction into consideration during sentencing today.

The prosecution asked for two and half to five years in jail. Instead, the judge said there is some hope for Crawley being rehabilitated, so she sentenced her to about a year in an in-patient rehabilitation center. If Crawley violates any terms of her sentence, the judge says she will definitely throw her in jail then.

Copyright © 2023 WPVI-TV. All Rights Reserved.