Cops: Woman Tries to Flush Baby Down Hospital Toilet

She then allegedly left it in a trashcan
By Michael Harthorne,  Newser Staff
Posted May 10, 2016 2:19 PM CDT
Cops: Woman Tries to Flush Baby Down Hospital Toilet
Ashley Hautzenrader   (Johnson County Jail)

A 22-year-old woman allegedly tried to flush her newborn baby down a toilet before abandoning it in a trash can at an Iowa hospital on Mother's Day, the Iowa City Press-Citizen reports. According to the Gazette, Ashley Hautzenrader delivered the baby into a toilet in a hospital bathroom Sunday night. Police say Hautzenrader later told them she wasn't aware she was pregnant before entering the bathroom, KCRG reports. Hautzenrader allegedly tried to flush the baby down the toilet because it wasn't crying and she thought it was dead. Police say she then placed it in a pillowcase and put it in the garbage. Hautzenrader cleaned the bathroom and left.

A hospital spokesperson says the newborn was found "shortly after delivery." Its current condition is unclear. The hospital won't say if Hautzenrader was a patient or why she was there. She was arrested Monday and charged with child endangerment, a misdemeanor punishable by up to two years in prison. She was released from jail and placed on supervised release. Under an Iowa law, Hautzenrader could have legally turned her newborn over to the hospital. (More child endangerment stories.)

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