Dec. 23, 1947: Baby Girl Abandoned at Downtown Restaurant With Christmas Card Pinned to Blanket

L.A. Times, 1947

Note: This is an encore post from 2005 and originally appeared on the 1947project.

The young mother asked the waitress at the cafe in the Subway Terminal Building to hold her baby for just a moment—and then she was gone.

Four-month-old Nancy Joyce Morris, with light blue eyes and blond hair, was wrapped in a purple quilt and a pink blanket to which her young mother had pinned a Christmas card: To Mr. and Mrs. Robert Lane, 1711 N. Alexandria, with a return address of C.H. Wagoner, 4256 Troost Ave., in North Hollywood. It was signed Bonnie.

Authorities identified the mother as Bonnie Neva Morris, 18. Until a little more than a week before, she had been living with her mother and stepfather, C.H. Wagoner, who identified the baby at Los Angeles General Hospital. Wagoner told investigators that Bonnie had been living with them after separating from her husband, but they could no longer accommodate her and the baby because of his wife’s illness and asked the young mother to leave.

Robert Lane, as close readers of the 1947project will remember, is the brother of Marjorie Lane Donlevy and has testified in her divorce trial against actor Brian Donlevy. Lane’s wife was Bonnie Morris’ cousin.

Although child welfare officials received hundreds of offers to adopt young Nancy, The Times reports that the matter was to be decided by the courts.
Unfortunately, there is apparently no further word in The Times on what became of Nancy Joyce Morris or her mother, Bonnie Neva Morris. A death records search returns nothing on Bonnie, who would be 76, or for Nancy, who would be 58.

Quote of the day: “I understand that there is quite a Christmas celebration at the prison and the men don’t want to miss it.”
Leola Buck Kellogg, attorney for Warren Gallinger and Kenneth May, who asked the judge to sentence them immediately for car theft so they could be back at San Quentin for the holidays.

About lmharnisch

I am retired from the Los Angeles Times
This entry was posted in 1947, Crime and Courts and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.