SCRANTON, Pa. -- A mother from Scranton told police she thought her child would be better off in the care of a stranger than to remain with her. Police tracked the woman down after posting a picture of her abandoned son on social media.
Scranton police interviewed the mother Tuesday night after she handed her young son off to another woman outside a laundromat in the city.
Scranton police turned to social media posting a picture of a little boy in hopes of finding his mother.
Tips led officers to her and she explained that she passed the child off to a stranger outside Royal Laundromat on Mulberry Street because she thought he'd be better off that way.
While the whole story was mind-boggling for people in this neighborhood, police say what the mother did does not constitute a crime.
The mother told officers that's she's homeless and struggling with mental illness. The woman at the laundromat had three other children with her and the mother thought that meant her child would be safe.
Police say luckily that was the case and the woman who took the little boy called police.
"Doesn't necessarily mean the mother is a bad person. I mean, it takes a lot to admit you need help. I just think she did it the wrong way," Desean Walls said.
"I don't think she should be held responsible because at the end of the day, like, you know, she could have done it in worse ways, but she did it the best that she could. In her mental state, she thought that she did the right thing," Carl Caldwell said.
Police say the boy, who is most likely between 12 and 15 months old, seemed to be well taken care of and there was no evidence of abuse.
He's now in the care of the Lackawanna County Office of Youth and Family Services.
Scranton police say the mother's best plan of action would have been to drop the child off at a hospital or the police station where you can surrender a child no questions asked.