Police: Initial indications suggest baby found in dumpster was stillborn

The 17-year-old girl who gave birth to a baby girl at home and then placed it in the trash may still face criminal charges even though initial indications suggest the child was stillborn, Wichita police said Tuesday.

A family member took the trash to a dumpster at Eastgate Shopping Center because the family does not have trash service, Lt. Randy Reynolds said.

The girl became “very ill” and was taken to a local hospital on Jan. 16, where she confided to medical staff that she had given birth at home, Reynolds said. Police followed up on her statement and found the infant girl’s body in the dumpster at 11 p.m. that same day.

Reynolds said initial indications are the child was stillborn. But he said officials are waiting for test results from the Sedgwick County Regional Forensic Science Center “to determine if the child is stillborn or if the child was killed” after she was born.

Police have interviewed the girl’s 18-year-old boyfriend as well as family members.

“We do not believe her parents were aware of it,” Reynolds said, and the family member who took the trash to the dumpster did not realize there was a baby in the bag.

It will be up to the Sedgwick County District Attorney’s Office to determine what, if any, charges may be filed in the case, Reynolds said. The girl has been released from the hospital.

“Regardless of whether the child was stillborn or not, that was certainly a very poor decision,” Reynolds said.

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