An investigation is underway into the gruesome find of a dead infant, discovered in a basement level dumpster near a property on 1321 West Farms Road in The Bronx.
Authorities say a 19-year-old woman, who was originally not named in reports, admitted to Albert Einstein Hospital medical staff that she’d given birth in her bathroom and after, placed the child into a bag, and threw her newborn down a garbage chute inside her Bronx apartment building, reports News 12.
Police found the bag and reclaimed it from the dumpster. The sex was not disclosed and an autopsy will be performed to determine if the premature fetus had been born alive.
The mother, who neighbors said did not appear noticeably pregnant leading up to the incident, is being treated at the hospital.
Updated reports indicate 19-year-old Ariel Devonish has since been charged with a misdemeanor for unlawfully disposing of a baby, where she could be put in jail for up to a year and pay a fine.
Depending on the medical examiner’s report, the girl may face additional charges in the future. If for instance the fetus is found to have been born alive and disposed of thereafter it’s likely the girl would be charged with manslaughter or murder.
A similar case was reported back in May 2011, where an 18-year-old mother was arrested and charged with attempted murder. She too bagged and tossed her newborn baby down a garbage chute. In that case, the boy had been born alive and miraculously managed to survive the eight story drop into a trash compactor inside a high-rise building in Brooklyn’s Walt Whitman Housing Project. Officers responded to a report of a baby crying, the sound coming from the basement of a building on Cumberland Way.
Authorities note that New York State has a safe haven law, a statute which decriminalizes leaving an unharmed infant with a designated facility. Safe haven laws are in place to limit situations of abuse, abandonment, and death of newborns. This law permits a parent to give up a baby within 30 days of birth, no questions asked, at local hospitals, firehouses, and police stations without imposing a threat of penalty or arrest. Thereafter, the child becomes a ward of the state.
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