CRIME

Pettricia Finch-Miller accused of abandoning baby outside Severn church

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A 32-year-old Millersville mother has been charged with neglect after she allegedly abandoned her 2-month-old son outside an Anne Arundel County church on Monday.

Anne Arundel County Police say that Pettricia Finch-Miller is facing charges of neglect and desertion of a minor after she allegedly left her son, Michael, in a car seat under a porch to an entrance to the Grace Point Presbyterian Church in Severn.

The child was discovered at about 12:15 p.m. after a child was reported missing from a home in Glen Burnie. The 2-month-old was then found at the church, in the 600 block of Donald Avenue.

Grace Point youth pastor Josh Silliman, who discovered the infant boy, says it's the strangest thing that has ever happened to him at his church. When he found the child, he was in a car seat just like the one he uses for his baby.

Silliman says the cries of the child were unmistakable.

"I ran over and the baby was tucked up under the porch facing the wall," Silliman said. "He was crying his head off and soaking wet."

Police say that after she left the child near the church, Finch-Miller picked up her two daughters, aged 13 and 10, and left the area.

After an extensive search and with help from family members, authorities say that Finch-Miller turned up at a Comfort Inn in Fredericksburg. Her mother-in-law says that she had been threatening to do something like this because she didn't want another child.

The infant was treated for minor injuries from exposure to the elements at Baltimore Washington Medical Center. Finch-Miller was initially charged with only misdemeanor crimes, but those charges could change.

"Detectives are working with the State's Attorney's office to determine appropriateness of charges and if any additional charges are warranted," Anne Arundel County Police spokesman Justin Mulcahy said.

In the meantime, officials say that Michael has fully recovered from dehydration after spending about four hours alone. Silliman, though, fears that it could have been much worse.

"My heart was breaking for this little boy," he said. "I had no idea why he was left."

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