A tourist from Korea has been arrested after the body of a newborn infant submerged in the reservoir of a toilet was found dead at the Sheraton Waikiki hotel in Honolulu this week, according to KITV.
The mother, 32-year-old Jeongmi Yoon who remains hospitalized and under close guard, stands accused of murder. As reported by Hawaii News Now, Yoon was arrested Wednesday at the hotel after her newborn was discovered inside the reservoir tank of a toilet by a housekeeper who was cleaning the bathroom. It’s unclear how long the full term baby girl was in there, but sources say the medical examiner found water in her lungs, which indicates she was born alive. Yoon and her husband, who are visiting from Korea, had reportedly been staying in Waikiki Hawaii for a few days. Police plan on charging Yoon with second-degree murder upon her release from the hospital. Homicide detectives are still investigating.
No further details have been revealed about the circumstances of Yoon’s pregnancy. However, police sources say her husband insists he did not know she was expecting. He reportedly was not inside the hotel room when the baby was discovered. (VASH) confirms it is providing him with assistance.
There are no safe-haven laws in Korea, similar to that in Hawaii. As a result, officials report hundreds of unwanted newborn babies are abandoned on the side of the street in South Korea every year. One pastor set-up a “baby drop-box” at his ministry in 2009. Lee Jong-rak has helped save nearly 600 hundred children who’ve been left there. According to the documentary The Drop Box, Lee is the only person in Korea who collects abandoned babies who are physically or mentally handicapped, or just neglected by unwilling or unable parents.
Although there are safe-haven laws in the United States, there continues to be countless stories of newborn babies being found in dumpsters, toilets, and other locations. As reported by the Inquisitr in March, a newborn baby was found dead in the reservoir tank of a toilet at a Pennsylvania sports bar, similar to the Hawaii incident. Safe-haven laws, also known in some states as “Baby Moses laws,” are statutes in the United States that decriminalize the leaving of unharmed infants with statutorily designated private persons so that the child becomes a ward of the state. “Safe-haven” laws typically let parents remain nameless to the court, often using a numbered bracelet system as the only means of linking the baby to the parent, according to Wikipedia.