Berks couple charged after dead baby found inside apartment

Body found in trash bag in container of cat litter

SPRING TWP., Pa. - A disturbing discovery inside an apartment in Berks County early Tuesday morning has led to criminal charges being filed against the couple who lives there.

Spring Township police, checking on the welfare of a six-month-old baby at 1350 West Wyomissing Court, said they found the infant's body in a trash bag and concealed in a plastic container full of cat litter.

"The details in this case are, to say disturbing is to put it lightly," Berks County District Attorney John Adams said Tuesday afternoon, during a news conference with Spring Township police Chief Bryan Ross.

Officers went to the apartment in the Lincoln Park complex late Monday night as part of their investigation of a tip from concerned relatives of the baby's father, Shaun Oxenreider, who had told them of the baby's recent death, according to an affidavit of probable cause.

Authorities said subsequent statements Oxrenreider and the baby's pregnant mother, Samantha Trump, gave to Berks County Children and Youth Services appeared to be "suspicious," and their check with local hospitals, coroner's offices, and a funeral home revealed no records of the baby being treated or dying.

Shortly after 12:30 a.m. Tuesday, Oxenreider gave officers permission to look inside the apartment. Their search led them to a locked bathroom, and once inside the bathroom, they found what appeared to be photos of the baby, used diapers, and baby clothing, according to the court paperwork.

Police said a further search led them to a crawl space, where they found the plastic container full of cat litter. Officers said they could see part of a trash bag exposed through the litter, so they asked Oxenreider for permission to open the bag. Doing that revealed the body of a baby believed to be Harper Trump, police said.

"If the father's family wouldn't have reached out to us, we would not have discovered this unfortunate incident," Adams said.

Oxenreider, 25, and Trump, 27, were charged Tuesday with concealing the death of a child, abuse of a corpse, and criminal conspiracy.

"These are the charges, at this point, that we have probable cause to believe that both Samantha Trump and Mr. Oxeineider committed," Adams said.

An autopsy on the baby will be done Thursday to determine how she died and whether additional charges will be filed, officials said.

"We will make a decision in the near future whether or not other charges need to be filed," Adams said.

In the meantime, Oxenreider is in the Berks County Jail on $250,000 bail; Trump remains hospitalized for a seizure she suffered when officers arrived at her apartment late Monday night, police said.

"She is under guard by the Berks County Sheriff's Department," Adams said.

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