“Crying baby” locked in donation bin causes panic – until rescuers realize what it really is

AVON, Indiana - A woman donating clothes to a Special Olympics bin in Indiana turned into a call to 911 after hearing what she thought was a crying baby locked inside the tall metal bin.

"I just thought, 'We gotta get her out of here, we gotta get the baby out of here,'" Julie Potter told WTHR-TV. "We knew it was crying, but didn't know what kind of shape it would be in when you got it out or anything," the grandmother said.

The baby easily fit through the drop slot - but Potter could not, so she called for help.

"You could just hear the crying and the swishing around," Potter said. "Then it stopped for a second and then it started all over again, the crying and the rustling around."

Paramedics raced to the parking lot, took one glimpse inside the bin, and immediately found the source of so much panic - a crying, battery-operated doll, playing a looped recording of a real baby's cries.

"I just never heard anything like that except a real baby," said Potter.

"Better safe than sorry," Avon Police Officer Eric Hollingsworth said. "Even the medic on scene said that he thought it was real when he first got here and then he had looked inside of the box and saw that it was fake," Hollingsworth said.

As relief sunk in that a real baby was not locked inside the donation bin, Potter went to get back into her vehicle, only to realize that she had locked her keys inside.