Mother allegedly left baby boy in stranger’s arms, said he ‘would be better off’

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SCRANTON, Pa. -- A woman accused of giving her baby away to a stranger on the street is cooperating with authorities in Scranton.

Police say the mother handed the child to a woman outside Royal Laundromat along the 1400 block of Mulberry Street on Tuesday, telling her the boy "would be better off" with someone else, then walked away.

Scranton police distributed a photo of the baby, believed to be between 12 and 15 months old, and managed to track down the mother.

Authorities say what the mother did does not constitute a crime.

WNEP reports that the mother told detectives she is homeless and struggling with mental illness. When she saw the other woman with three children at the laundromat, she told investigators she thought her boy would be safe with them.

"It doesn't necessarily mean the mother's a bad person," said Royal customer Desean Walls. " I mean it takes a lot to admit you need help, I just think she did it the wrong way."

Police say the child, who appeared to be in good health, is now under the care of the Lackawanna County Office of Youth and Family Services.

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