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Paramedics tried to help bleeding mom — then found infant in a trash bag, NC cops say

Khrystina Marie Rice, 27, was arrested Thursday on charges of first-degree murder and felony child abuse.
Khrystina Marie Rice, 27, was arrested Thursday on charges of first-degree murder and felony child abuse. Union County Sheriff's Office

Paramedics responding to a 911 call in North Carolina over the weekend didn’t know why a 27-year-old woman was “bleeding extensively” on the bathroom floor, the sheriff’s office said.

Then they found placenta in the garbage.

Khrystina Marie Rice was arrested Thursday on charges of first-degree murder and felony child abuse after first responders discovered her newborn son barely breathing in a trash bag, the Union County Sheriff’s Office said in a release.

“Paramedics located a newborn infant tightly wrapped from head to toe in a blanket,” the release states. “The blanket with the child was concealed inside of a trash bag in the closet. Paramedics began performing CPR on the infant and were able to gain a faint pulse.”

But the baby died several hours later at the hospital, the sheriff’s office said.

Rice has a 4-year-old son with her husband and an 8-year-old daughter from a prior relationship, according to the release.

“Rice’s husband was reportedly unaware of her pregnancy and was sleeping downstairs in the home Sunday morning before hearing what sounded like someone falling upstairs,” the release states.

He called 911 around 6:50 a.m. when he found his wife bleeding on the floor of the master bathroom, the sheriff’s office said.

Rice reportedly wouldn’t explain to paramedics why she was bleeding.

First responders saw blood in the closet of the master bathroom, which the sheriff’s office said led to the discovery of the newborn.

EMS reportedly requested the sheriff’s office investigate.

Deputies and crime scene investigators determined with the medical examiner’s office that the infant weighed around 7 pounds “and was born healthy,” the release states.

The baby had a skull and rib fractures, the sheriff’s office said, but the cause of death was asphyxiation.

“Detectives believe that Rice intended to conceal the pregnancy and had not sought prenatal care,” according to the release.

Jail records show she is being held without bond.

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Hayley is a Real Time reporter at The Charlotte Observer covering breaking news and trending stories in the Carolinas. She also created the Observer’s unofficial bird beat (est. 2015) with a summer full of ornithological-related content, including a story about Barred Owls in love.
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