Peabody police investigate loaded handgun found in baby’s backpack at daycare center

The gun belonged to the father who had dropped the child off at the facility.

Peabody police are investigating after a loaded handgun was found inside a baby’s backpack at a daycare facility, officials said Saturday.

A staff member at Little Sprouts at 7 First Ave. called police shortly after 10 a.m. Friday to report that a firearm “had been left behind at the facility,’’ according to a press release.

When police arrived, the staff member said they found the gun after opening the baby’s backpack. The gun was a Smith & Wesson M&P Bodyguard 380 that was loaded with ammunition, and the safety lock was on, the release said.