The man who found an 18-month-old baby girl abandoned in Brandon late last week says he is left with many questions and few answers about what led the baby's mother to leave her daughter alone and crying in a stroller in front of his home.
Ryan Hicks tells CBC he first heard the baby's cries through an an open window at his home in the 600 block of 19th Street around 6:30 a.m. last Thursday morning.
"I thought it was kind of odd, but didn't think that the child I was hearing was alone," said Hicks Sunday. "Then I heard the crying a little more I went to my door and looked outside and saw the stroller by itself with nobody around.
"I just couldn't comprehend how it was even possible — I have a granddaughter just a little older than that and to put her in that situation is just heartbreaking."
Hicks says he went outside and held the child's hand, which stopped her from crying. He says the girl had a jacket on with a blanket over top, and didn't seem to be too cold.
After a few minutes of waiting for someone to come back to the stroller, Hicks checked with his neighbour to see if they knew anything about whose baby had been left in front of their homes.
"They had their windows shut so I guess they didn't hear anything and (my neighbour) was as dumbfounded as I was," said Hicks. "He hadn't heard anything or seen anything, so I showed him what I had found and then I called the police."
When police arrived Hicks says officers focussed their attention on two purses that had been left with the baby in the stroller.
"They found two different IDs from two different women and one, I guess, is the baby's mom," said Hicks, who adds he hasn't heard anything else from police since that morning. "I'm just wanting to know more, like everyone else."
Brandon police say the girl's mother reported her missing later in the day, and the child has since been turned over to Child and Family Services.
Charges are likely to be laid in the case, according to police.
Hicks says he's glad to know the baby is safe now, but is left with questions about what led to her being left alone in front of his house in the first place.
"How long was she actually there? Was she actually asleep before she woke up alone?" he said. "How could this have even happened and what kind of state the mother's in to have let this happen?
"I hope she gets the help she needs, she's obviously not in a good place … she needs some help."