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Baby's lifesaver honored


Janice Cook is presented with a Citizen's Lifesaving Award by Sgt. Robert Colwell and police Chief Gary Copeland, right, at the Sylvania Township trustees' meeting.

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A Sylvania Township woman was presented with a Citizen's Lifesaving Award last night for her role in recovering a newborn girl who had been placed in a trash bin Oct. 10, 2001.

Janice Cook found the infant in the bin at Wellington House, 4312 Holland-Sylvania Rd., in the township, while she was dumping trash.

The night was rainy and cold, and Ms. Cook began to walk away when she heard noises that were difficult to identify.

She said last night she could have kept walking, “but it just didn't sound right. Maybe it was intuition” that led her back to the source of the sounds.

Ms. Cook, a registered nurse, removed cardboard and other debris before locating the baby, who weighed 8 pounds, 7 ounces.

Police Chief Gary Copeland told a meeting of the township trustees he is convinced that had Ms. Cook not acted, the infant would have died. He said the township police department was presenting the lifesaving award for the first time.

Police later identified Natalie Nirdlinger, then 16, as the infant's mother and arrested her for abandoning the baby. She was sentenced earlier this month for attempted involuntary manslaughter.

Judge James Jensen determined that Nirdlinger suffered a psychological disorder and sentenced her to five years probation and 200 hours of community service.

The child is in a foster home with a pending adoption in Lucas County Probate Court.

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