Whoever abandoned a newborn at Northwest Medical Center Tuesday did exactly the right thing, authorities say.

The baby, who appeared to be less than 24 hours old, was found by hospital staffers, said Deputy Renee Carlson, spokeswoman for the Pima County Sheriff's Department.

The medical center, 6200 N. La Cholla Blvd. at West Orange Grove Road, is a "Safe Haven" drop-off location where newborns can be left, no questions asked.

Though the Sheriff's Department is investigating, Carlson said whoever left the infant did the right thing. "The baby was well cared for ... no neglect, no malicious intent. This was an appropriate location for a baby to be dropped off," Carlson said.

Carlson would not reveal the newborn's gender. "People are scared when they are making those choices and anonymity is important," she said. Otherwise, "we're going to have babies in trash cans. The baby is healthy as a result of this. It's doing well and being cared for at this time, and that's all good."

Arizona passed a "Safe Baby" law in 2001. About 18 babies have been dropped off at sites statewide since the law took effect. See www.tucsonsafebaby.org for more information.

Kimberly Matas

"The baby was well cared for ... no neglect, no malicious intent."

Renee Carlson, deputy