Baby Found Abandoned in Car Seat on Oklahoma Freeway, Seat Stuffed With $5,500 Cash

May 23, 2019 Updated: May 29, 2019

A man driving down I-40 could hardly believe  his eyes when he spotted a baby in a child seat on the side of the busy interstate freeway Saturday afternoon. He pulled over, praying that the child was okay. He was—but there was another surprise in store: the child seat was stuffed with cash.

On Sept. 23, 2017, around 4 p.m., Roger Prater and his church group found the 1-month-old baby abandoned on the roadside in over 30-degree C heat (90-degree F) along the Oklahoma City interstate.

Prater, a youth pastor from Ada, Oklahoma, along with several other cars, stopped to help.

“I couldn’t fathom it at first,” Prater told People. “Then the little boy’s feet moved. I told my wife under my breath, ‘I think I see a baby.’ She said, ‘What?’”

Prater got out and walked over to the child seat and confirmed his suspicion.

“It was not moving. Its eyes were closed. I thought, ‘Lord, don’t let this thing be hurt,’” Prater told newsok.

“As soon as I put my hand on the handle, both his eyes popped open. I jerked him up and handed him to my wife,” he said. Although the baby had been exposed in the hot sun, just 10 feet from the dizzying freeway traffic, he seemed to be in perfect condition.

There was another surprise in store for the church group leader: Along with the baby, they also found a birth certificate, social security card, and $5,500 in cash.

They took the baby into the van and called 9-1-1 immediately.

“He was real clean and had a onesie on,” Prater said. “Beautiful baby.”

Speaking to FOX 25, the youth pastor said: “He was awesome. I mean, beautiful baby, well-dressed, didn’t see no marks. I mean, I just couldn’t believe it.”

Emergency responders later estimated that the baby had been left on the roadside for about 30 minutes before Prater had found him. He was sent to the hospital for an evaluation and found to be in good health.

Authorities located the baby’s mother through relatives, and she might have been facing charges for having abandoned her month-old son.

“The mother was taken to a hospital to be evaluated,” said Sergeant Gary Knight of the Oklahoma City Police Department.

“The little boy is safe,” said Sheree Powell, director of the Oklahoma Department of Human Services. “This baby’s story has touched the hearts of people around the country.”

Since then, her office has been flooded with offers to adopt the child.

As for Prater, he was glad he got there in time to save the baby. He believes it was divine intervention that led him to discover the infant.

“He was just a little fella,” Prater said. “Thank God we got there in time.”

“All I know is that God intervened,” he added. “One day when the baby is old enough to understand, he can call me and I will tell him that it was no fluke that we found him. We found him for a reason. I will tell him that God has a plan for his life.”

“I’m thankful that I found him. And I hope he’s well; I hope he finds a good home,” he said.