CARROLLTON, Texas — The mother of a deceased newborn baby found buried inside of a flower pot at a Texas cemetery last month has come forward after seeing reports about the incident in the media.
“An 18-year-old has come forward and identified herself as the mother of an infant found deceased in a Carrollton cemetery in March,” the Carrollton Police Department outlined in a statement on Monday. “She came forward after seeing news coverage of the incident and is cooperating with our investigation.”
The teenager’s name has not been released, and police state that no further information will be made public at this time as the investigation is ongoing. According to reports, she came forward on Friday and is not in custody.
“Detectives are still investigating the circumstances, awaiting test results, and awaiting consultation with the Dallas County District Attorney’s Office,” the department outlined.
As previously reported, on March 11, a grounds caretaker at the Perry Cemetery in Carrollton noticed the flower pot being “out of place,” and went to empty it out. That’s when he discovered an infant buried underneath the soil.
The Dallas County Medical Examiner’s Office has identified the baby as being a girl, between 34 weeks gestation to full term, and weighing just under six pounds. Her umbilical cord was still attached.
“Information from the reporting caretaker indicates the flowerpot was placed in the Perry Cemetery sometime between Wednesday, Feb. 27 and Saturday, March 2,” the Carrollton Police Department outlined.
As previously reported, Texas has a safe haven law in place that allows mothers of newborns to surrender their children at a local hospital, emergency medical services provider, or welfare agency up to sixty days after birth without any criminal penalties.
“The designated emergency infant care provider has no legal duty to ascertain the parent’s identity, an the parent may remain anonymous,” the law also states. “However, the parent may be given a form for voluntary disclosure of the child’s medical facts and history.”
It also mandates that “[e]ach designated emergency care provider shall post in a conspicuous location a notice stating that the provider is a designated emergency infant care provider location and will accept possession of a child.”
Public reaction to the matter has been mixed.
“I’m praying the baby wasn’t born alive, and she just got scared and didn’t know what to do,” one commenter wrote under the Carrollton Police Department update.
“People can make very bad choices during desperate and scary times,” another stated. “Maybe she didn’t have any support or guidance. The fact that she came forward speaks to the guilt and shame she must feel. Let’s be thankful for that. She deserves to be heard and loved through this ordeal.”
“She is 18. She should have known better. I am sorry but no baby — whether born alive or dead — deserves to be abandoned in a flower planter. She discarded this baby like yesterday’s garbage. She only came forward weeks later after seeing news coverage,” a third opined.
“I hope she can find peace within herself for treating her baby in such a heinous way. I pray for the sake of this girl and her baby both that it was a stillborn/miscarriage situation. If so, the law and the public will be more kind toward this mother …”