A California homeless woman gave birth in a Subway bathroom and abandoned her baby. Police followed a trail of blood to located Mary Grace Trinidad and then promptly arrested her on attempted murder charges.
Mary Grace Trinidad walked about two minutes from the West Covina Subway and was caught and handcuffed inside a Pep Boys auto repair store. The city is located about 20 miles from Los Angeles.
The newborn baby boy was found at least partially submerged in the Subway toilet water with his umbilical cord still attached. Trinidad had thrown the placenta in the restroom trash can, according to police reports shared by the Daily Mail. The baby has reportedly been listed in critical condition.
A Subway customer noticed a bleeding woman leaving the restroom and when she walked inside she saw the placenta in the trash can and alert the store manager. Trinidad, a well-known transient in the area, simply walked out the back exit of the California restaurant and on down the street, CBS News reports.
— Daily Mirror (@DailyMirror) February 16, 2016
Mary Grace Trinidad was also charged with child abandonment. California has Safe Haven laws which would have allowed the homeless woman to leave the baby at a hospital, fire house, police station, or similar facility and face criminal charges.
The female customer heard a baby crying from inside a Subway restroom stall after she saw the placenta. An employee at the store recovered the baby boy from the commode and 911 was called. The unnamed boy has reportedly been placed in the neonatal intensive care unit at Queen of the Valley Medical Center.
Mary Trinidad, 38, was taken to the same hospital after her abandoned baby after she was found inside the Pep Boys store about 500 yards away from the Subway. She is reportedly being treated for “pregnancy-related” medical issues.
— ABC 7 Chicago (@ABC7Chicago) February 16, 2016
Here’s an excerpt from the California Safely Surrendered Baby Law.
“The Safely Surrendered Baby Law responds to the increasing number of newborn infant deaths due to abandonment in unsafe locations. First created in January 2001, the Safely Surrendered Baby Law was signed permanently into state law in January 2006. The law’s intent is to save lives of newborn infants at risk of abandonment by encouraging parents or persons with lawful custody to safely surrender the infant within 72 hours of birth, with no questions asked.”
Since the California safe haven law was passed on the first day of 2001, through the end of 2014 — the most recent statistics available — a total of 685 newborns have been surrendered in the state. In 2014 alone, a total of 73 newborns were surrendered at designated locations.
According to the California Safely Surrendered Baby law government website, the number of infants abandoned has significantly decreased since the statute was enacted. In 2001, 164 women abandoned their babies at designated safe haven locations. An 80 percent decrease in babies found, dead or alive, after their mothers simply left them at will in any unattended location of their choosing, has been realized since 2011.
When a person abandons a baby at a safe surrender location, an optional medical questionnaire is presented for completion. The form is reportedly intended only to garner important medical information to help ensure the health of the baby. The identity of the mother or other individual who is abandoning the baby is removed from the form for confidentiality purposes.
Trinidad had a warrant out for her arrest on an unrelated narcotics charge. Her bail was set at $2 million. She is unlikely to be released from jail before her hearing on attempted murder and child abandonment charges.
[Image via Shanti Hesse/Shutterstock.com]