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Safe haven law used to leave ward of state

OMAHA, Oct. 31 (UPI) -- Nebraska's safe haven law has been taken into a new direction when a teen left at a hospital already was a state ward, Nebraska officials said.

State Department of Health and Human Services officials said they were helping the family of the 17-year-old when his grandmother dropped him off at an Omaha hospital earlier this week, the Omaha World-Herald reported Friday.

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"In this case, it appears that appropriate services were being provided," said Todd Landry, director of the Division of Children and Family Services.

The grandmother told the newspaper she was the legal guardian of the boy and his older sister after their mother died in 2002.

The grandmother said the complaints investigated by state officials resulted from mix-ups and misinformation, adding that her grandson had been difficult since he as 14, and has been in therapy off an on.

When her grandson spoke of killing someone and put a razor in his pocket Wednesday, she said she called police and asked them to take him to Nebraska General Hospital under the safe haven law. They told her she'd have to do that, so she did, the report said.

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"I told him, I'm going to always love you. You can come visit," she said. "But that knife play ... is bad."

The Nebraska law is expected to be revamped during next month's special session of the Legislature to apply only to babies.

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