An 18-year-old threw her newborn in the trash and now faces capital murder charges, Alabama police say.
Dothan Police received a call from a hospital about a woman’s family asking about a child that the woman said she dropped off 11 days prior, according to an Aug. 24 news release from the police department.
The hospital, Southeast Health, said it had no records of this happening.
When police began investigating, they found 18-year-old Jakayla Ashanti Williams had given birth on Aug. 13.
Her family didn’t know she was pregnant or gave birth until Aug. 23, officials said. She told family she took her newborn to the hospital, according to the release. Police say the family grew concerned and went to the hospital where Williams said she took the baby.
However, police say Williams did not take the child to the hospital.
The day Williams gave birth in her home, she went to an apartment complex on the west side of Dothan, wrapped her child in a mattress protector and zipped him in a duffle bag, then placed the live newborn in a trash compactor, police say.
“In 27 years of law enforcement, I’ve never even heard of anything like this,” Dothan police chief Will Benny said in a news conference broadcast by WTVY.
He said investigators went to the apartment complex and located the dumpster Williams had described. Investigators found the newborn.
“It shocks the mind, shocks the soul,” Benny said.
The remains were sent to the Alabama Department of Forensic Sciences to confirm they are those of Williams’s child, the news release said.
Benny added that the child’s father received the same information that other family members did — that the newborn was taken to the hospital. However, Benny said the family began to suspect this story wasn’t true, and that’s when they wanted to visit the hospital.
Williams told police “she did that because she did not want the child and it cost too much money,” according to the release.
“She knew, obviously, that she could take a newborn to the hospital and drop it off,” Benny said. “There’s an Alabama law that there’s a no-questions-asked policy. They passed this law to prevent things like this. But she chose not to do that.”
Alabama’s safe haven law allows parents to surrender their unharmed newborn to a hospital, without prosecution, if the child was born less than 72 hours prior.
Benny said Williams was being held at Dothan City Jail.