A dead baby found in a teenage girl's shopping bag at a lingerie store was born alive and then asphyxiated, police said today, as the macabre discovery turned toward a possible homicide case. Police believe 17-year-old Tiana Rodriguez gave birth to the baby at a friend's house and that the infant was later asphyxiated. The city medical examiner's office said an autopsy was inconclusive, and more tests were needed. Little was immediately clear about the circumstances of Rodriguez' pregnancy and the baby's death.
A security guard found the child's body in a bag Rodriguez was carrying yesterday as she and another 17-year-old girl, Francis Estevez, browsed at a Victoria's Secret store in midtown Manhattan, police said. The guard stopped them on suspicion they were shoplifting, and both were ultimately arrested on petit larceny charges. Rodriguez told detectives she was carrying the remains because she had delivered a day earlier and didn't know what to do, authorities said. Rodriguez remained hospitalized today. Click for more on the story. (Read more fetus stories.)