BATAVIA, N.Y. (WIVB) — If Christina Colantonio needed to, she could have walked two blocks from her home on Liberty Street in Batavia, and dropped off the baby girl she gave birth to at the local fire station.
It’s one of several places within close proximity to her apartment in the city that participate in the state’s safe haven program.
Instead, Batavia police say the 28-year-old Colantonio gave birth at home, then killed the infant shortly after, and kept the body in the apartment for approximately three months.
Police have not said how the mother killed the baby, and autopsy results are still pending.
In addition to the fire station, the city’s police station and hospital, United Memorial Medical Center, are safe haven spots.
That means, a person can drop off a child, so long as it’s not more than 30 days old and is free from injury. The drop-off must also be made with an adult.
And had it been used in the Colantonio case, it could have saved the woman, who has two other children, from facing second-degree murder charges.
It’s not often used, but officials are trying to get the word out that people have options.
“Public information is very important,” said Batavia Fire Capt. Ronald Fix. “We got to get that information out to the public to know that they can bring a child to a staffed police station, fire station, hospital or even an ambulance they saw driving down the road, would be an appropriate person to flag down.”
The drop-off is anonymous and legal.
“It’s completely anonymous for us to take the child in,” Fix said. “We don’t have to get any of your information, but you need to make sure the child is in safe hands before you leave him at any of those facilities.”
Colantonio was scheduled to appear in Batavia City Court Monday afternoon, but the hearing was pushed back to Thursday morning. Meanwhile, she remains in jail without bail.