A photo of a St. Albans, West Virginia, police officer cradling a 14-month-old baby girl is touching the hearts of many on the Internet because of its heartwarming backstory.
St. Albans police Sgt. Philip Bass, pictured in the photo, was part of a group of officers who saved the baby early Monday morning, when Kroger grocery store employees heard her crying inside a locked bathroom in the store, according to a St. Albans Police Department news release.
Police said that officers found the 14-month-old in the bathroom with a woman they later identified as 39-year-old Donnyell Harrison.
“The lady let us in the bathroom and then we saw her, and this little baby, she was sitting in a buggy with a baby bottle of Dr. Pepper,” Bass told ABC affiliate WCHS-TV. “And she said, ‘Well, I didn’t have anything else to give her!’ And I said, ‘Well, you’re in Kroger!'”
One of the other officers who responded to the scene, Cpt. James Agee, told WCHS-TV that there were some “obvious signs of drugs” in the bathroom, including “a lot of pills visible.”
Harrison, who is not the baby’s mother, was arrested and charged with drug possession with the intent to distribute, police said in the news release. Police added that the baby’s mother was currently incarcerated in a local jail and that the mother had left the baby in the care of another person, who in turn gave the baby to Harrison.
Before Child Protective Services could arrive to take the baby, Sgt. Bass and other officers cared for the 14-month-old for a little over four hours, police said. Several officers purchased proper baby food and diapers and a Kanawha County Sheriff’s deputy who assisted also bought several small toys for her, police added.
“Sometimes we’re a warrior, sometimes we’re a guardian, sometimes we’re a babysitter!” said Agee.
The Kanawha County Prosecutor’s Office is looking into possible charges relating to the care of the baby,” police said.
The St. Albans Police Department did not immediately respond to ABC News’ requests for additional comment.