NEW YORK — A security guard at Victoria’s Secret in New York found a dead baby inside of a shopping bag carried by a teenager that he had stopped for suspicion of shoplifting.
The incident occurred on Thursday as 17-year-old Tiona Rodriguez and her friend Francis Estevez, also 17, were shopping at the Manhattan store and looking at lingerie. At one point, a security guard became suspicious that the two were shoplifting and called the police.
As security began to search the teens’ bags for stolen items, they were shocked at what they found.
“While inspecting the bags of the two females, security officers discovered a strong odor and found a fetus inside the bag,” police told reporters.
The child, a boy, had been wrapped in clothing, and placed in a separate black plastic bag inside of a shopping bag, which contained stolen lingerie.
Rodriguez, who has a two-year-old son, allegedly told police that she had miscarried the day before at 6 1/2 months, and was carrying the baby in a bag because she “didn’t know what to do.”
She was later escorted out of the store in a wheelchair, and her baby was transported to the medical examiner’s office for an autopsy. Both Rodriguez and Estevez were charged with petit larceny and possession of stolen property, but police state that additional charges could be filed against Rodriguez pending the results of the autopsy.
Initial reports from the medical examiner’s office state that the baby was not 6 1/2 months old, but was rather almost full term—approximately 8 months in gestation and weighing 8 1/2 pounds. However, as the cause of the child’s death has not yet been determined, tests will be ongoing to see if the baby could have been alive at the time of birth.
Rodriguez had posted on Facebook the day before, complaining of cramps from her pregnancy.
“These cramps, son,” she wrote.
A similar situation took place in Arizona the week prior, where a 16-year-old girl was arrested after police found that the teen had thrown her newborn baby girl out the bathroom window. The child, who fell approximately five feet, hit her head on the brick, but survived.
Paramedics had arrived at the girl’s home after family members reported that she was bleeding heavily. It is believed that the teen attempted to conceal her pregnancy, and then threw the child out the window to hide her from her parents.
The girl was taken into custody and faces attempted homicide charges as an adult.