A Pennsylvania woman was arrested in the death of her newborn after her father found the infant’s corpse stuffed in a crawl space while decorating the family home for Christmas.
Brittany Robinson, 23, of Shanango Township, was arraigned Monday on charges of criminal homicide, concealing the death of a child, abuse of a corpse and tampering with evidence in the infant’s death after giving birth in the bathtub of her family’s home on Friday, the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reported.
Robinson, a mother of one, told police the 7-pound, 19-inch baby didn’t have a pulse or heartbeat when she placed the boy’s body in a dresser drawer in an enclosed porch in the rear of the home, according to an affidavit obtained by the newspaper.
Robinson told police she didn’t check on the infant until the following day, at which point she moved the baby – who still wasn’t breathing, she said — to a crawl space, where her father found the boy on Sunday in a bag inside a crawl space while routing an extension cord to put up Christmas lights.
“The homeowner was out preparing wiring for some decorative lighting and came across the bag in which he discovered a baby,” Pennsylvania State Police Lt. Eric Hermick told KDKA.
Robinson’s family told police they weren’t aware she was pregnant, saying that the woman “kept it a secret,” Hermick said. Her relatives are now cooperating with investigators, who noted that Robinson is already a mother.
“Once again, she has an 8-year-old child as well at this time, so she’s familiar with being pregnant and how this all occurs,” Hermick said. “So that’s part of our case as well.”
Police found evidence during the execution of a search warrant at Robinson’s home indicating she had “prior knowledge” that she was pregnant before giving birth, the Post-Gazette reports.
An autopsy will determine the newborn’s exact cause and manner of death.
A judge on Monday denied bail for Robinson, who cried inside a courtroom during her arraignment, before being remanded to Lawrence County Jail, KDKA reports.
Police said Robinson, who was picked up by cops for questioning while working at a department store, admitted to investigators she didn’t call police after the boy’s birth because she was afraid. Her preliminary hearing is scheduled for next week, KDKA reports. It’s unclear whether she’s hired an attorney.