Woman Who Put Newborn in Closet Didn't Know She Was Pregnant

Kelsey Martin, 21, charged with concealing the death of a child
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Feb 4, 2016 4:46 PM CST
Woman Who Put Newborn in Closet Didn't Know She Was Pregnant
Stock image   (Shutterstock)

A 21-year-old Pennsylvania woman told police she had no clue she was pregnant before she gave birth at home, put her unresponsive newborn into a shoebox and stored it in an upstairs closet. Kelsey Martin, of Springettsbury Township, was charged Jan. 28 with concealing the death of a child, a misdemeanor. Her lawyer Christopher Ferro told Pennlive.com the incident was a "horrible but explainable tragedy" and urged the public to withhold judgment on his client. According to police, Martin went to a hospital in April with abdominal pains and was told she had a urinary tract infection and given antibiotics. Later that day Martin was bleeding heavily and taken to a hospital in an ambulance. An examination there showed she had given birth, but police said she denied it.

Martin eventually told police that earlier in the day she thought she had to go to the bathroom but gave birth, the AP reports. The baby wasn't breathing, she said, and she shook it in hopes of some response. After the baby didn't respond, she placed it in the shoebox, police said. Police and family members found two boxes in the upstairs closet: one with bloodied clothing and the second with the newborn's body. A relative of Martin opened the second box and said "Oh my God!" while lifting the baby out, per Pennlive.com; police said the infant was still warm. Family members and police officers performed CPR on the baby but it was pronounced dead. An autopsy failed to reveal if the child was born alive or determine a cause of death. (Read more death stories.)

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