Kyandrea Thomas was arrested by police in New Roads, Louisiana, after reportedly giving birth in a Wal-Mart bathroom and then leaving the baby in a trash can. First responders were called to the scene around 8 p.m. on Friday night after the baby was found unresponsive by a Wal-Mart employee. Thomas was arrested on Saturday after police tracked her down at an area hospital where she was receiving medical attention.
According to Pointe Coupee Sheriff Bud Torres, Kyandrea Thomas had been collecting money for the Salvation Army outside of the Wal-Mart store when she went into labor. She then went into the store bathroom and gave birth to a baby girl before placing her inside a plastic bag and leaving her in the garbage can. Thomas has been arrested before and that is what makes this recent incident even more disturbing.
Kyandrea Thomas pleaded guilty to negligent homicide in 2011. The case stems back to a 2009 incident where Thomas was accused of leaving a 3-year old girl inside a daycare center van until she died. The Advocate reports that the child was left behind for six hours in the heat while working for Wanda’s Kids World, which has since gone out of business.
Kyandrea Thomas was arrested for allegedly dumping her newborn in WalMart trashcan, officials say attempted murder https://t.co/qlZWeEmsUe
— Grace Toohey (@grace_2e) December 24, 2016
Thomas was one of two employees blamed for the death of the 3-year old. She was sentenced to five years probation and 10,000 hours of community service for her part in the death.
Police officers involved in the more recent Wal-Mart birth investigation were able to identify Kyandrea Thomas by reviewing surveillance footage and talking to witnesses who were at that Wal-Mart store while she was giving birth. The baby, whom hospital workers are now calling Olivia, was found when she was estimated to be six hours old by a Wal-Mart employee who was taking out the trash. She was unresponsive inside a plastic bag at the time but emergency workers were able to revive the newborn girl before transporting her to Point Coupee General Hospital. She was later airlifted to Our Lady of the Lake Hospital in Baton Rouge.
Kyandrea Thomas was arrested on Saturday and booked into Parish Prison. New Roads police chief Kevin McDonald said that Thomas will be transported to Point Coupee Parish jail where she will be booked for attempted second-degree murder. According to McDonald, after her arrest, Thomas gave a full confession to police about giving birth in the Wal-Mart bathroom before throwing her baby in the trash can.
Christmas Miracle! Police save newborn baby after Kyandrea Thomas stuffs it in Walmart trash https://t.co/5Q8V1Xslnc
— Boris McCheesy (@BorisMcChesney) December 24, 2016
“It’s a very emotional situation, to say the least,” Pointe Coupee Sheriff Bud Torres said. “We don’t know all the facts or what the motivation was for it, but it was a senseless act on her part.”
Kyandrea Thomas could have called 911 or taken the baby to a local area hospital and dropped it off without any legal ramifications under the Louisiana Safe Haven laws. Under the safe haven law, the website states that “you can leave your unharmed baby, up to 30 days old, with an employee at any medical facility, fire department, hospital, police department, emergency medical services provider, pregnancy crisis center, medical clinic, public health unit or child advocacy center in Louisiana.”
According to KATC, baby “Olivia” is in stable but critical condition and is still being treated in Baton Rouge at Our Lady of the Lake Hospital. The identity of the baby’s father or whether he was even in the picture is still unknown and local police are still investigating the case to understand Kyandrea Thomas’ motivation for giving birth and leaving the baby behind in the Wal-Mart bathroom.
[Featured Image by East Baton Rouge Parish Sheriff’s Office]