Police say she didn't know she was pregnant until she gave birth.
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A newborn baby has been rescued from a dumpster in New Mexico, where police say his teen mother threw him away in a "panicked" move that was caught on video.
The boy survived and the mother is now facing charges, according to police in Hobbs, New Mexico. They added that the mom didn't know she was pregnant until she gave birth.
A group of people found the baby while they were sifting through the dumpster on January 7, police said. At first they thought it was a kitten but when they discovered the baby they called police.
"The baby was wrapped in a bath towel that was dirty and wet and had dried blood on it with the umbilical cord still attached," said August Fons, the acting chief of police, during a press conference.
The baby was immediately taken to a local hospital and then transferred to another medical facility in Lubbock, Texas.
The boy is now in stable condition.
A local shop owner captured CCTV video of the incident on cameras behind his business. The video shows a woman pulling up, throwing a bag into the dumpster and then driving off.
Police say they were able to identify the car and its owner from the footage.
Alexis Avila, 18, was later arrested and charged with attempted murder and child abuse.
She didn't know she was pregnant until January 6, one day before she gave birth, she told police. She initially went to the hospital for abdominal pain and constipation and then unexpectedly gave birth the following day.
Police say she "panicked, did not know what to do or who to call" after giving birth. That's when she allegedly wrapped the baby in the towel and put it in the dumpster.
"Based on the timeline from the surveillance video, the infant was in the dumpster for approximately 6 hours," police said.
They added that the dad is underage and his identity has not been released.
The baby is in the custody of child and family services at the moment, police said.
New Mexico is one of several states with a "safe haven" law, which allows new parents to give up children within the first 90 days.
Avila's public defender, Ibukun Adepoju, told NBC News that the mom is "barely 18 herself" and described the case as a "tragedy."
"As humans, we should practice compassion as we wait for the justice system to work,” he said.