A Pennsylvania woman was arrested on Monday and charged with criminal homicide after authorities found a newborn infant buried under the porch of her New Castle home.
CBS Pittsburgh reports that Brittany Robinson, 23, the mother of the baby, is accused of wrapping the infant in a Black t-shirt and a plastic trash bag, then placing him in a crawlspace under her home off of Ellwood Road. The suspect’s father told police he was preparing to wire up the home with holiday lights on Sunday, and while under the front porch rerouting a cord, he noticed a black bag. When he moved the bag, he realized it seemed heavy and took a peek inside, and saw the deceased infant. He dialed 911 immediately.
“The homeowner was out preparing wiring for some decorative lighting and came across the bag in which he discovered a baby,” Lt. Eric Hermick of the Pennsylvania State Police told CBS.
According to authorities, Robinson was admitted into the UPMC Horizon Shenango Valley hospital in Farrell after she had complications associated with childbirth. As soon as the hospital discharged her, state troopers arrested her and after an interview, transferred her to the Lawrence County Jail.
The baby, a 7-pound healthy and viable boy, was born alive before he was placed under the home. It’s still unclear exactly how he died.
“The baby was a viable 7-pound baby boy,” Hermick continued. “They’re still looking to determine if there was some exterior cause of death or the elements that killed the baby, but either way, the baby was born alive and cleaned up and then placed under there.”
Robinson’s father and his two sons, who all live in the home with the suspect and another man, stressed that they had no idea she was even pregnant, let alone that she allegedly hid a baby under the home. Hemrick said the family claimed Robinson kept it all a secret.
Hemrick also indicated that the state of Pennsylvania gives women the legal option to drop off unwanted babies at several locations, such as fire departments, police stations, or a hospital.
According to the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, Robinson told detectives that after she gave birth, she couldn’t detect a pulse or heartbeat on the baby. She said she put him in a dresser on the back porch and left him there until the following day, when she claimed she checked on him again and found him “still not breathing.” She then admitted to moving the infant to the crawlspace.
Robinson also told authorities that she gave birth while taking a bath on Friday. She insisted she had abdominal pains at work earlier that day, but had no idea she was in labor until she was in her bathtub, New Castle News reports. She said she didn’t go to the police because she was afraid.
In addition to homicide charges, Robinson faces one count of abuse of a corpse, one count of tampering with/ fabricating physical evidence, and one count of concealing the death of a child. She remains behind bars without bond.
Police noted that Robinson has another child, an 8-year-old who doesn’t live with her.
Meanwhile, an autopsy is scheduled for Monday to determine the baby boy’s exact cause of death.