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Mom who left newborn at hospital is found

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A woman who allegedly abandoned her newborn baby at Cottonwood Hospital the day after Christmas has been found.

The 28-year-old woman was arrested Saturday at a West Valley apartment.Murray police detective Alex Huggard said the woman has three other children, ages 3, 4 and 15 months. Detectives say the woman also walked away from the 15-month-old child when it was born, but the case was never investigated by law enforcement.

The three children are being raised by a relative, police said.

The most recent case began on Christmas Day when the woman and her boyfriend walked into Cottonwood Hospital. The woman said she had forgotten her identification and gave hospital staff the name and Social Security number of a woman seven months pregnant who had her purse stolen a few weeks earlier.

The day after the woman gave birth she vanished, and doctors found amphetamines in the baby boy's blood. The rare case had law enforcement and police puzzled about how to proceed. The baby was temporarily placed in a foster home, and, after officials discovered it was the responsibility of the Division of Child and Family Services, state workers named the baby Chris Day, in honor of the day of his birth.

Murray and West Valley police departments and the DCFS coordinated efforts to locate the woman. Huggard said an anonymous caller gave officers a first name last week.

Police and DCFS officials then cross-checked records to find a woman who matched the name. They then conducted a photo lineup, and hospital officials picked out the woman, Huggard said.

The woman was in a West Valley court three days before giving birth on charges of operating a vehicle without insurance and driving without a license. In December, she pleaded guilty to a separate charge of possession of drug paraphernalia from a 1995 case.

Huggard said the woman hasn't yet indicated why she left the newborn at the hospital.

Officers arrested Dena Lynne Bringhurst and booked her into the Salt Lake County Jail on Saturday. When officers picked her up there was a moving van outside her duplex and she was apparently leaving town, Huggard said. Bringhurst also had warrants out for her arrest in West Valley and has used the name Dena L. Schenk.

The case is being turned over to the District Attorney's Office for possible charges. Huggard said the woman won't be charged with defrauding the hospital because Intermountain Health Care has declined to press charges.

The newborn remains in a foster home, where officials said he is doing well and hasn't yet shown effects from the drugs in his blood.