Mother Charged in Death of Abandoned Newborn - NBC Chicago

Mother Charged in Death of Abandoned Newborn

Autopsy: Infant found in Salvation Army trash can was strangled



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    Jessica Cruz

    A 19-year-old woman has been charged with the murder of her infant son Wednesday, after he was found dead last week in a Streamwood Salvation Army bathroom.

    Jessica Cruz, of the 2000 block of Osage Lane in Hanover Park, was charged with first-degree murder and concealment of a homicidal death, according to Streamwood Police.

    Cruz went to court on Wednesday and Judge Jill Marisi ordered her held without bond.

    Employees at the Salvation Army store found the infant in the garbage of the store's bathroom Friday, and captured Cruz on video surveillance.

    The newborn was wrapped in plastic in the trash with his umbilical cord still attached, and was pronounced dead on the scene, said a release from Streamwood police.

    The autopsy found the baby had an umbilical cord and placenta still attached and a garbage bag was tightly wrapped around his neck. According to prosecutors, the boy suffered a neck hemorrhage and was strangled to death.

    Cruz told police that when she gave birth to the boy she didn't look to see what sex he was. The boy was alive when she put him in the plastic bag and placed him in the garbage, Cruz said to police.

    Prosecutors said Cruz told authorities only the baby's father knew she was pregnant, and she admitted to pretending to be her mother when police called her home.

    Cruz will appear for a preliminary hearing at the Rolling Meadows courthouse on Dec. 2.