A Pennsylvania teen was arrested for disposing of her fetus in a school restroom. Cherlie Lafleur, age 19, has been charged with concealing the death of a child.
A custodian at McCaskey East high school in Lancaster, Pennsylvania discovered the fetus on Tuesday. Authorities report that the fetus was found in a trash can in the ladies restroom.
Detectives with the Lancaster police department interviewed students and staff at McCaskey East in an attempt to identify the mother. Video footage from the school surveillance cameras eventually led them to suspect Cherlie Lafleur.
As reported by Lancaster Online, an autopsy revealed that the fetus was born at approximately 28 weeks. They have not determined whether the male fetus was alive or stillborn. Although the fetus was born prematurely, doctors have stated that it may have survived with proper medical treatment.
Lancaster County District Attorney Craig Stedman has stated that the circumstances of the case are “utterly sickening.” He contends that, by withholding medical care, Lafleur is responsible for the death of the fetus if it was born alive.
Lafleur was arrested for disposing of the fetus in the school restroom and concealing the death. However, she may face additional charges pending the outcome of the autopsy.
As reported by ABC News, Lafleur reportedly gave birth in the school restroom and initially tried to flush the fetus down the toilet. When she was unsuccessful, she placed the fetus in a trash can.
The teen was arraigned on Wednesday. She is currently being held in the Lancaster County Prison on $1 million bond.
As discussed at SecretSafe.org, Pennsylvania is included as a Safe Haven state. Mothers have the option of surrendering a newborn, up to 28 days old, to any hospital in Pennsylvania. The mother does not need to reveal her identity. Many hospitals provide a crib or bassinet near the entrance where newborn babies can be dropped off.
If the fetus was born dead, Lafleur could have avoided arrest for disposing of the fetus in the restroom by reporting the death to authorities.
[Image via Facebook]