Dead Fetus Found On Airplane Was Reportedly Left By Pregnant Teen

American Airlines plane
Scott Olson / Getty Images

A law enforcement official has reportedly said that a human fetus found in an American Airlines airplane toilet on Tuesday was left by a teenager, who may have been the victim of a botched abortion. The 18-year-old from Brooklyn could face charges, a decision that is awaiting the results of an autopsy.

The woman checked into Kings County Hospital after getting off the plane, and doctors have said her miscarriage could have been the result of a botched abortion attempt, the New York Daily News reported.

The fetus, estimated to be between 3 and 6 months, was found in the bathroom of an American Airlines Airbus A321 hailing from Charlotte, North Carolina. Flight 1429 came into La Guardia Airport late Monday where it remained parked overnight. A cleaner who was readying the plane for its flight back to Charlotte on the following morning discovered the fetus in the toilet covered in toilet paper, according to Time.

The teen is said to have been flying back home from a trip she took with her family to Jamaica. She reportedly told Kings County Hospital doctors that she had no idea she was pregnant when she began experiencing pain while on vacation, the New York Post reported. It is unclear, however, whether police have asked her whether she’d gone for an abortion.

“She is a good girl… she panicked.”

The New York Post reported that the teen was treated in the island nation before she flew back home. Her pain reportedly flared up again during the 90-minute flight from Charlotte to Queens, and that’s when she miscarried in the toilet. The woman waited for passengers to start deplaning before rushing into the restroom with the assistance of her twin sister.

Members of the flight crew said they noticed that the teen looked unwell when she rushed to the bathroom as passengers were disembarking, according to the Daily News. After the baby was found several hours later, flight crew members told investigators about the sick passenger, who was identified by her seating assignment.

“She is a good girl,” the sisters’ grandmother reportedly told The Post. “She panicked. Thank God her sister was there to help her.” She added that no one in the family knew about the pregnancy.

No charges have been filed against the teen, pending an investigation by the medical examiner’s office. The results of an autopsy will determine whether the baby was born alive or dead, which could have different legal implications for the woman, if any.