The newborn Chinese baby rescued from a sewage pipe this week has been returned to his grandparents yesterday after police decided he had fallen down the toilet by accident.
The mother of the newborn baby boy is believed to be “on the edge of mental collapse” in hospital. The 22-year-old is being cared for by medics following widespread public backlash.
Police said the baby’s 22-year-old unmarried mother, who did not step forward initially because she was frightened, will not face criminal charges.
The two-day-old baby boy was found stuck head first in a 10cm diameter pipe beneath a squat toilet in Jinhua City, eastern China, on Saturday.
He was saved by fire crews who sawed through the section of pipe and then used pliers and saws to tear it open.
The case was originally seen as attempted murder, and police believed the woman had tried to flush the baby down the toilet. However, police were satisfied that the baby had accidentally slipped down the toilet pipe, as she claimed.
Meanwhile the baby – named baby 59 after his hospital incubator - is believed to be in a stable condition, having suffered some minor abrasions on his head and limbs, but was mostly unhurt.
In Chinese society, babies born out of wedlock are sometimes abandoned because of social and financial pressures.
The incident shocked China and led many to express their anger on social networking sites
His rescue prompted an outpouring of well-wishers donating nappies, clothes, powdered milk and offers to adopt him.
The baby’s grandfather told the Modern Gold Daily newspaper that his daughter had “had "suffered a lot because of public pressure" and added that she was "on the edge of mental collapse, because she has not rested after giving birth.”
He told the newspaper: "Now the baby is healthy and carrying on with its life the entire family thanks everyone for their help, along with those who cared for the child.
“We will use all our love to protect the baby as it grows older.”