TOWN OF NEWBURGH — Shortly after watching Teresa Smith leave the Budget Inn in a cab about noon on Nov. 1, Maya B. entered Room 103 to prepare for its next occupant.
It was a routine with which Maya was familiar. Maya, her brother and her husband have owned and operated the small motel off Route 9W for 30 years, and Maya regularly performs housekeeping duties.
But nothing could have prepared her for what lay behind the door.
She saw blood on the comforter of the full-sized bed farthest from the door. She saw more blood through the open door of the bathroom. She stepped into the room, and saw blood inside the bathtub and around the toilet. The toilet lid was closed.
Maya, who did not want her full name used in this article, ran out of the room and across the parking lot to the main office, where she frantically called 911.
"I called right away. At that time I'm scared. Something is wrong. I don't know what's going on," Maya said.
Town of Newburgh police Sgt. Ted Brucato, 13-year town officer Julie Haight, and newly hired officer Conner Stenglein responded to the call.
Brucato said that when they opened the lid to the toilet, all they saw was a tiny white arm and a small part of the baby's face. The baby was curled into the fetal position.
Haight pulled the baby out of the water. The umbilical cord and placenta were still attached, Brucato said.
"The baby started to move a little bit," Haight said. "He made a very, very slight sound."
Stenglein gave her a bed sheet. Haight wrapped the baby and carried him to the bed.
"I just tried to keep the baby warm and monitor the vitals," Haight said. "He was very cold."
Stenglein suggested turning up the room's thermostat, Haight said.
"I was very, very shocked that the baby was breathing," Brucato said. "I didn't expect it to be breathing or moving."
EMTs from the Town of Newburgh Emergency Medical Services rushed the baby to St. Luke's Cornwall Hospital in the City of Newburgh. The boy, now in custody of Child Protective Services, is in good health, town police Chief Bruce Campbell said.
"I was absolutely stunned," Haight said. "I've never seen anything like that."
Haight said she would like to stay in the child's life somehow, but is unsure of how to go about that. She said she is glad to know he is doing well.
Smith, 23, of Newburgh, has been charged with attempted second-degree murder, first-degree assault and abandonment of a child.
Her lawyer, Gary Abramson, chief attorney at Legal Aid Services of Orange County, said Thursday he did not want to comment for this story.
"I hope the baby is OK," Brucato said. "I hope the mother gets the help she needs."