A northwestern Missouri woman heard a knock at the door and was shocked by what she found — a newborn baby in a box.

ST. JOSEPH — A northwestern Missouri woman heard a knock at the door and was shocked by what she found — a newborn baby in a box.

The St. Joseph News-Press reported that a woman who runs a day care center out of her home found the baby girl at her back door around 6:30 a.m. Tuesday. A note, written in Spanish, asked that the woman "please take care of my baby."

The woman, who said she does not speak English and didn't want to be named, told the newspaper that she took the baby inside and fed her then called the police. She said the baby "was in good condition." The child was taken to a hospital for evaluation.

What happened after that isn't clear. Messages left Friday with the Missouri Department of Social Services, St. Joseph police and the city of St. Joseph were not immediately returned.

The handwritten note left with the baby included an emotional plea, presumably from the mother.

"Good morning, I ask you to please take care of my baby, I give it to you with all my heart because I know that you are a great person," the note read. "I was not able to take care of her .... That is why I decide to give the baby to you. Please God bless you with her, I love her but it's better if you can please take care of her."

Missouri law allows a "safe haven" option for parents who want to give up a child who is no more than 45 days old. But the baby must be dropped off at a designated location such as a fire station, hospital or police station, and handed over to a qualified person, said Libby Owens, executive director of the St. Joseph Pregnancy Resource Center.

Police continue to investigate.