A helpless baby boy was used by a group of drug dealers to play "pass the parcel" before they dumped him at a hospital, US police say.
The distressed boy's terrifying ordeal started when his father Jeffrey Grieninger and his girlfriend Jessica Bridge allegedly brought him to a party at a drug den in Virginia on August 31.
The couple are said to have passed him around at the party before abandoning him with other drug users, driving off while high and not returning.
When the baby started to cry for lengthy periods, the drug-addled babysitters took the young boy to a Safe Haven at a local hospital.
AdvertisementAdvertise with NZME.
Virginia has a Safe Haven law allowing parents to leave an unwanted baby at designated safe spots – but that rule stipulates that any affected youngster must be relinquished within 14 days of his or her birth.
At the hospital, the male babysitter told staff he was not the baby's father and had no information about his parents.
Staff then cared for the infant until the next morning Grieninger called to say his baby had been handed in the night before.
A woman, believed to be Bridge, called police the following morning to report the baby missing.
Police were told conflicting stories of how the baby came to end up at hospital.
Grieninger and Bridge have since been charged – Grieninger over a probation violation, and Bridge in connection to a stolen car said to have been used to take the baby to hospital.