Woman Gives Birth, Kills Baby in Store Bathroom: Police

Infant was strangled, autopsy shows

By BJ Lutz and Michelle Relerford
|  Saturday, Nov 5, 2011  |  Updated 5:47 PM CDT
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Dead Newborn Found in Store's Washroom

Police say the woman in this composite sketch killed her baby boy after giving birth to him in a Salvation Army store's washroom.

A dead infant found in a garbage can of a northwest suburban business on Friday afternoon was strangled, an autopsy determined.

The death has been ruled a homicide.

Streamwood police and paramedics responded to a call from the Salvation Army store, in the 1000 block of South Barrington Road, after the infant was found unresponsive in the washroom.

The newborn, a 6 pound, 11 ounce boy about 18" long, was found wrapped in plastic in the trash receptacle with his umbilical cord still attached. It's believed the bag was used to strangle the boy.

He was pronounced dead on the scene, a release from Streamwood police said.

Store officials told police the woman appeared pregnant when she walked into the store Friday morning and asked a manager to use an employee restroom. She walked out an hour later, they said.

"She looked distressed [and] disheveled. [The manager] sent a worker to into the store to check on the status of the bathroom, discovered some blood on the floor and then subsequent to that we discovered -- the worker discovered -- a fetus in the wastepaper basket," said Streamwood Deputy Chief James Keegan.

A composite sketch of the mother was released Saturday. Police believe the mother gave birth between 10:15 and 11:15 a.m. in the store's washroom and may have come in with another woman and child.

She was described as a Hispanic female between 15 and 25 years old. She stood between 5 feet and 5 feet, 4 inches tall and had long dark hair, police said. She was last seen wearing a purple hooded sweatshirt and a lime green coat.

Keegan offered the reminder of Illinois' Safe Haven law, which allows mothers to leave babies 30 days old or younger -- no questions asked -- at any police station, fire house or hospital.

Anyone with information on the case should call 630-736-3700 or the Crime Tip Line at 630-736-3719.

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