Mother charged as stillborn remains found in tote in Park City
Prosecutors in Summit County in early August filed charges against a California woman the authorities say stored the remains of two stillborn children in a tote in Park City.
Molly Jojola, who is 28 years old and with a last known address in Lancaster, Calif., was charged with two counts of abuse or desecration of a human body, both third-degree felonies. She is scheduled to appear in 3rd District Court at Silver Summit on Sept. 12.
The Summit County Attorney’s Office in a charging document says a Park City police officer on Sept. 3, 2015 was called to a residence on Empire Avenue after Jojola’s bedroom was cleaned and a tote in the closet was found “emitting a horrible odor.” The people cleaning the room opened the tote and found human remains, the prosecutors say.
A roommate of Jojola sent her a text message. She responded by saying the remains of the stillborn children were inside, according to the charging document.
In an interview with the Park City Police Department, Jojola said she had the first child in February 2012 without realizing beforehand she was pregnant. She had the child in a shower, the prosecutors say. The baby was “purple in color, limp and lifeless, and was not breathing,” according to the charging document, which says she then bought a plastic tote and put the body inside. She took the remains when she moved from one Park City residence to the one on Empire Avenue, hiding the tote in a closet, prosecutors say.
The charging document says Jojola told investigators she had another child in February 2014, a stillborn, in a bathtub at the Empire Avenue residence. She then put the body in the same tote, according to the prosecutors. She hid the tote underneath blankets in a closet.
The prosecutor, Joy Natale, said it appears Jojola suffers from mental health issues. She said investigators did not find evidence the babies were intentionally killed. The evidence supports Jojola’s assertion the babies were stillborn, she said. Natale said the delay in charges was a result of a lengthy investigation into the circumstances of the deaths.
“It is such an unusual behavior. It kind of makes you wonder what was going on,” Natale said.
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The Park City Council field is scheduled to appear together next week for the first time, gathering for a candidate forum that will be held as the primary election nears but also at a time when it seems the campaign itself has had difficulty seizing the attention of voters.