Police log IDs homeless woman who gave birth on downtown Hilo sidewalk



Kelsey Walling/Tribune-Herald Police tape is still tied to a light post as cars drive through the intersection of Mamo Street and Keawe Street in Hilo on Thursday, Jan. 18, 2024. On Tuesday, Hawaii Police Department officers and Hawaii Fire Department personnel responded to reports that a woman who had given birth was reportedly dragging the newborn at the intersection.

A police log identifies the 41-year-old homeless Hilo woman who gave birth on a sidewalk Tuesday evening in downtown Hilo as Ashley Aileen Maile Lum.

Police officers and Hawaii Fire Department personnel responded to the intersection of Mamo Street and Keawe Street after receiving reports at about 5:15 p.m. that a woman who had just given birth was reportedly dragging the newborn.


Responding medics located the woman, with the baby still attached by the umbilical cord.

“It was right in front of Pineapples Restaurant, so there were a lot of people who were able to witness the behavior and everything that followed,” Capt. Rio Amon-Wilkins, commander of the East Hawaii Criminal Investigation Division, said Thursday.

HFD medics cut the cord and immediately began providing medical attention to the baby girl, who was breathing but was not moving.

The newborn was then taken via ambulance to the Hilo Medical Center Emergency Room.

“Thankfully, the baby’s life was spared,” Amon-Wilkins said. “According to the pediatric doctor that night in the hospital, she was fine.”

Amon-Wilkins said the doctor estimated the length of Lum’s pregnancy “somewhere in the ballpark of 38 weeks, so (the baby) was definitely viable.”

After the baby was separated from the mother by medical personnel, Lum began to leave the area, according to police.

Lum was taken into custody by police on suspicion of abandonment of a child and was taken to HMC for treatment. She was later released from police custody without being charged pending further investigation because she was admitted to the hospital.

After evaluation and treatment, the infant was transferred to the custody of Child Welfare Services.

Abandonment of a child is a misdemeanor punishable by up to a year in jail.

Lum, according to court records, has a minor criminal record and no prior felony convictions. She has been living in downtown Hilo for years and often can be seen shouting at passing cars and pedestrians.

Upon completion of their investigation, police will route the appropriate charges to the Office of the Prosecuting Attorney for review.

“We will forward it to the prosecutors shortly, and there’s not much left for us to do on the investigation,” Amon-Wilkins said.

“In my almost 25 years, I’ve never seen a case like this.”

Police ask anyone who may have witnessed this incident to contact the police department’s non-emergency number at (808) 935-3311, or Detective Patrick Aurello of the Area I Juvenile Aid Section at (808) 961-8810, or via email at patrick.aurello@hawaiicounty.gov.

Those who prefer anonymity may call Crime Stoppers at (808) 961-8300.

Email John Burnett at jburnett@hawaiitribune-herald.com.

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