MANCHESTER, Ky. — A woman in Kentucky has been charged with murder and domestic violence after a newborn baby was found dead in a trash bag earlier this month outside of her home.
Amber Bowling, 21, was taken into custody on Dec. 12 after investigators connected her to the baby, who had been found two days after birth by a man who also lives at the apartment complex.
It is believed that Bowling gave birth on Dec. 9, and then put the infant in a trash bag and threw him or her over the upstairs balcony onto the porch below.
An autopsy report determined that the child died from blunt-force trauma, as he or she suffered cranial bleeding and fractured ribs.
Bowling pleaded not guilty to the crime on Dec. 14, but a Clay County grand jury indicted her on Thursday. She is being held at the Clay County Detention Center.
“You just, you can’t fathom in your mind why someone would do something like this to an innocent baby,” Trooper Lloyd Cochran told WVLT-TV. “You just don’t know.”
Kentucky has a safe haven law in place that allows mothers to surrender their newborn babies—up to 30 days old—at a hospital, church, fire hall or police station without prosecution.
“A parent who places a newborn infant with an emergency medical services provider or at a staffed police station, fire station, hospital, or participating place of worship and expresses no intent to return for the infant shall have the right to remain anonymous and not be pursued and shall not be considered to have abandoned or endangered the newborn infant,” the Safe Infants Act reads.
The baby is then immediately provided medical care and soon placed in a loving home.
John Gosper, the assistant chief of the Lexington Fire Department, told local television station WKYT that his son is a safe haven baby, as he had been left at a hospital after birth.
“My wife and I had a long history of not being able to have children, so we got into the foster care system,” he outlined. “To watch them grow and to thrive, I just so appreciate that parent that made that decision to give this child a chance.”
He said that none have yet left a baby at the fire station where he has worked for 28 years.
As previously reported, in August, a South Carolina woman was arrested after she similarly placed her newborn child in a trash bag and left him or her on the floorboard of her car to die. A Texas woman was also arrested that same month after she gave birth at her place of employment and then discarded her newborn son in a trash bag and put him in the dumpster. The baby survived as her co-worker called 911 to report the incident to emergency personnel. Both states have safe haven laws.
Ecclesiastes 1:9 says that “there is nothing new under the sun.” In an introductory lecture to his course on obstetrics in 1854, Philadelphia doctor Hugh Lennox Hodge lamented that even the mothers of his day were lacking of natural affection toward their own children and sought out means to kill them.
“They seem not to realize that the being within them is indeed animate, that is, in verity, a human being—body and spirit—that it is of importance, that its value is inestimable, having reference to this world and the next,” he said. “They act with as much indifference as if the living, intelligent, immortal existence lodged within their organs were of no more value than the bread eaten, or the common excretions of the system.”
“[S]he recklessly and boldly adopts measures, however severe and dangerous, for the accomplishment of her unnatural, her guilty purpose … that she may be delivered of [a child] for which she has no desire, and whose birth and appearance she dreads.”