"It was God intervening."
That is the sentiment that a Laurel man voices when he thinks about finding an infant lying on the roadway early Thursday morning.
The man, who wishes to remain anonymous, was en route to work that morning when he saw an object lying beside the road. In the rural area of his home, it is not uncommon to see random trash along the roadway.
"I saw something in the road and it looked like an arm and a leg," he said. "I thought it was a doll because it wasn't moving. The leg was kind of propped up, like a kid would pose a doll. There are people with kids around here and when I saw it, I just thought that some kid had lost their doll."
So he went on his way.
But just a short distance away, he saw a body of a woman lying in a ditch.
"It was around 3 in the morning. I didn't know if the person was dead or alive, if someone could have thrown them in the ditch or what had happened. But I knew I had to call the police," he said.
He said he told dispatchers about the body in the ditch and that he'd seen something in the road that might have been a baby.
"I turned around and went back," he said. "The person in the ditch had got up and I passed her, heading the other way from where the baby was. It was about 30 degrees and she didn't have a stitch of clothes on. I was still on the phone with Dispatch and I went back to where the baby was and I heard it whimper. I told the dispatcher that it was a baby and that it was alive. It had a flannel blanket over it and a wet diaper that was sagging to its knees, like they do when they get full. It was laying in the road - its back was on that cold pavement. I was afraid to pick it up because I didn't know if it was hurt or what had happened. But being a dad, I picked it up and tried to keep it against me to get it warm."
That call to Dispatch sent police and EMTs to the scene, with the man crediting them for their quick response.
"They were there in three or four minutes," he said.
The woman kept rambling about another child and the man helped police search the area, to no avail. Some time later, police found a 2-year-old child at its home with a man identified as the baby's father.
But for the passer-by who inadvertently became a key player in saving the baby's life, Thursday morning's experience was something he will never forget.
"It was all God," he said. "I usually leave for work an hour and a half earlier but that morning I didn't have to be there as early. There's not a lot of traffic on this road that early - it probably would have been another hour and a half or two hours before anyone else would have come out this way. As cold as it was, that baby could have died in the cold. This was something you never imagine would happen to you, but I didn't do anything that any other decent human being wouldn't have done. I'm just glad that baby and the other kid is alive."