Mother arrested for alleged murder of infant
A woman was arrested by the Wasatch County sheriff’s deputies on four felony charges — including aggravated murder — after reportedly leading deputies to search for her deceased baby’s body by Exit 131 in Parleys Canyon.
According to the affidavit of probable cause, the 18-year-old woman’s child was premature and required supplemental oxygen to live.
On Sept. 1, the woman’s neighbor called 911 after the child had stopped breathing. The baby was taken to the hospital by ambulance.
According to the affidavit, hospital staff found that the mother arrived at the facility without the infant’s oxygen tanks and reminded the 18-year-old mother “that it was vital for survival.”
The mother and child were sent home, this time with “smaller tanks for transportation.”
According to the affidavit, a warranted search of the woman’s phone found that it was within roughly a week of this time when she began searching the internet for questions about killing a baby, what kind of prison sentence would be tied to such an act, and where she could find nearby dumpsters.
After she missed a follow-up appointment Sept. 11, deputies tried to contact her to complete a welfare check but were unable to reach her by phone or in person.
Following more failed attempts to reach the mother after receiving additional reports of the baby without its necessary oxygen supply, “an extensive search” for the mother and child took place.
On Sept. 19, after an agent with Utah’s Division of Child and Family Services found that the mother was staying with her boyfriend in Kamas and was told the baby was now in Mexico, deputies went to speak with the mother. They took her to the Sheriff’s Office, informed her of her Miranda rights and she agreed to speak.
The affidavit states that the mother said “it had been difficult trying to raise a baby that needed special care and that she had wanted to go back to work,” and had made a decision without much consideration.
She said she sent her child to Mexico with someone who was visiting and was willing to drive the infant. The affidavit indicated she changed several details of this story upon retellings, and investigators were unable to verify her story or find anyone to corroborate it.
On Sept. 20, deputies obtained a warrant to search the mother’s phone and found the inquiries about killing babies.
Upon further discussions with the investigators, the mother offered a different account of what had happened to her child. She said that on Sept. 10, she had taken the infant with her to meet someone and hadn’t set up the child’s supplemental oxygen supply because “it was bothering him.”
According to the affidavit, the mother stated that she initially thought the child was asleep and only noticed her baby had died after getting home to find he wasn’t breathing and did not have a pulse.
Later, the woman led deputies to Exit 131, where she claimed she had left the infant wrapped in a blanket with an elephant on it.
During the search, a deputy found a piece of fabric.
The affidavit states that upon seeing the cloth, the mother “began to sob and try to go to the area.”
Given a lack of light and the possibility of wildlife interference at the scene, deputies resolved to “establish a search plan with cadaver dogs and more officers.”
Deputies have since found the body.
Editor’s note: Utah Newborn Safe Haven has a toll free hotline available 24 hours, 7 days a week. Representatives are here to help: 866-458-0058. For more information, see https://www.utahsafehaven.org/
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