NEW HOLLAND, Pa. - A Lancaster County woman has been charged in the case of her dead baby being disposed of in a trash bag.
Marie Guepsie Lavaud likely delivered the baby prematurely on July 23 before placing her body in a freezer inside her apartment in the 200 block of East Jackson Street in New Holland, Lieutenant Jonathan Heisse, New Holland Police Department, said Wednesday.
Officers found the baby's body after responding to Lavaud's apartment Sunday night for the report of a psychiatric/emotional issue, police said.
Lavaud told the officers and friends who were present that the baby was dead when she delivered her, police said.
"I got rid of it," Lavaud said of the baby, according to court documents. One of the officers asked Lavaud what she meant by that statement, and Lavaud replied, "It's not important. The baby is gone."
With the consent of Lavaud's husband, the officers searched the property in an effort to find the baby, but they came up empty.
The officers were then granted permission to take trash bags from outside the home and transport it to their police station, where they found the infant's body in one of the bags, Heisse said.
An autopsy conducted Monday failed to determine whether the baby was born alive and how she died, according to the Lancaster County coroner, who estimated the baby to be between 28 and 34 weeks gestation at the time she was delivered.
Lavaud, 40, was charged Wednesday with concealing the death of a child and abuse of corpse. She's currently committed to a hospital for mental health treatment, police said.