Louisiana mother arrested after newborn found in trash compactor
(WWLTV.COM) SLIDELL, La. – A 22-year-old woman who had hidden her pregnancy from family and friends has been charged in the death of the child, whose body was found in an apartment complex trash compactor Monday.
Antwonetta Jones was booked with second-degree murder.
Slidell Police Chief Randy Smith said Jones delivered the baby in a bathtub and that a short time later it began choking and died. He said Jones told them she got scared and when the child stopped breathing, she put her in a box and brought it to the trash compactor.
Coroner Charles Preston said the child was a full-term six-pound baby girl with no injuries and had likely been alive for 4-12 hours. Had Jones gotten help the baby likely would have been fine. She is being charged for not seeking help that likely would have assured the child had lived.
Smith said Jones’ mother called 911 Monday night to say that she had just found out that the child found in the trash was her granddaughter. He said Jones confessed to her mother and was remorseful. The mother then placed the call.
“It is very disturbing to me that this young lady felt as though she had no other options available,” said Smith. “We have to do a better job of educating our mothers-to-be that Louisiana is a Safe Haven state. If you are unable to care for your baby, you can bring the newborn, up to 60 days old, to a Safe Haven site; which are places like a police department, fire department, or a hospital…no questions asked.”
The entire story came to the forefront when a maintenance man found the baby’s body in a box in the trash and police began searching for clues.
“If he hadn’t opened the box, we wouldn’t be here,” said Smith.
Tests are still pending, according to Preston, officials can’t confirm whether asphyxiation was the cause of the baby’s death.