Mother, 16, Charged In Baby's Death The Atlantic County Coroner Said The Boy Died Of Asphyxiation Within Minutes Of Being Born.

Posted: June 20, 1998

An Atlantic County teenager was charged with aggravated manslaughter yesterday in connection with the asphyxiation death of her newborn last week.

Prosecutor Jeffrey Blitz said the 16-year-old delivered a baby boy in her bedroom on June 11 and left him in a popcorn tin. Her mother discovered the baby and notified police.

The girl was charged after Atlantic County Medical Examiner Lyla Perez determined yesterday that the baby was born alive and died of asphyxiation. Blitz declined to elaborate on how the baby asphyxiated.

Blitz said he would determine within the next 10 days whether to try the girl as an adult, which would carry a possible prison sentence of 10 to 30 years. If tried as a juvenile, she could face four years in a juvenile detention center.

Blitz would not release the name of the girl or her mother.

The baby was alive for just minutes, said Blitz, who declined to say whether the girl's mother or anyone else knew of the pregnancy.

The girl's mother entered the bedroom minutes after the birth to check on her daughter, who had told her she was feeling sick that morning. She saw blood and realized that her daughter had given birth, Blitz said.

She removed the baby boy from the popcorn tin, which was about 11 inches high and nine inches in diameter, wrapped him in a towel, and placed him on the bed, where police later found him. He was apparently dead when officers arrived.

The girl, who was subsequently hospitalized for several days, was taken yesterday to the juvenile detention center in Egg Harbor City after being charged.

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