NEW HOLLAND, Pa. - Authorities are working to determine if charges should be filed in the case of a premature baby found dead and disposed of in the trash.
Police in New Holland, Lancaster County, made the disturbing discovery on Sunday when they responded to a home in the borough for the report of a psychiatric/emotional issue, Chief Donald Bowers Jr., New Holland Police Department, said Tuesday.
Bowers, referring to it as a "sad and tragic event," told 69 News that the baby girl was found in trash bag outside the mother's home, but he declined to provide a more precise location of the discovery.
"Clearly, the person was upset. We got a call from some friends of hers, and that's what the officers found when they got there as a result of their investigation," said Bowers.
An autopsy was conducted Monday on the baby girl by the Lancaster County coroner.
Dr. Stephen Diamantoni told 69 News that the forensic examination failed to determine how the baby died or whether she was alive at birth.
The baby, between 28 and 32 weeks gestation, showed no visible signs of trauma, Diamantoni said.
Borough police and the Lancaster County district attorney's discussed details of the case with each other in a conference call Tuesday afternoon. They said they expect to release more information Wednesday.
"We don't get a second shot at this, so we have to do it right the first time," said Bowers. "We want to make sure we do a thorough job."
In the meantime, Bowers said the county is providing services to the baby's mother.
Parents in the area were outraged by the allegations.
"I can't imagine a mother ever doing that to her child after she had it and went through childbirth," said Carrie Long, who has two children.
"It's a human being and I think it should be treated with respect, and if it's a viable baby, it should be turned over to somebody that would care for it rather than throwing it away like trash," said Tim Martin, who has children of his own.
Allentown, PA 18102