UPDATE: After first reporting that the police said the baby “was born alive and then asphyxiated,” the Associated Press has now revised its story:
NEW YORK (AP) — Medical examiners say an autopsy of a fetus found in a teenage girl’s shopping bag at a New York City lingerie store is inconclusive, and more tests will be needed to determine how the fetus died.
The inconclusive results came Friday, and the medical examiners’ office says the needed tests could take a couple of weeks.
Chief police spokesman John McCarthy says investigators are awaiting the medical examiners’ findings. Those would show how the fetus died, including whether it was born alive and whether it was asphyxiated.
The remains were discovered Thursday when a security guard stopped two 17-year-old girls at a Victoria’s Secret store.
The girls were arrested on petit larceny charges. It’s unclear whether they have lawyers.
NEW YORK (TheBlaze/AP) — TheBlaze reported on Thursday that the story of a 17-year-old girl caught carrying around a dead baby in a shopping bag was almost too horrific to believe — because “if it’s true, the implications for society are horrifying.”
Sadly, it appears that the worst may be true in this case.
The dead baby found in the teen’s shopping bag at a Victoria’s Secret store in Manhattan was born alive and then asphyxiated, police said Friday, as the macabre discovery turned toward a possible homicide case.
Police believe 17-year-old Tiana Rodriguez gave birth to the baby at a friend’s house and that the infant was later asphyxiated. However, the city medical examiner’s office said an autopsy was inconclusive, and more tests were needed.
Little was immediately clear about the circumstances of Rodriguez’ pregnancy and the baby’s death. Some neighbors told reporters they hadn’t realized she was carrying a child.
Rodriguez remained hospitalized Friday after the find a day earlier, and a woman who answered the phone at a possible home number for her said she knew nothing about the matter. A message left at another possible number for Rodriguez wasn’t immediately returned.
A security guard found the child’s body in a bag Rodriguez was carrying Thursday as she and another 17-year-old girl, Francis Estevez, browsed at a Victoria’s Secret store in midtown Manhattan, police said. The guard stopped them on suspicion they were shoplifting, and both were ultimately arrested on petit larceny charges.
Rodriguez told detectives she was carrying the remains because she had delivered a day earlier and didn’t know what to do, authorities said.
Rodriguez could face more serious charges related to the baby’s death.
The Associated Press is identifying both teens because in New York, older teens are treated as adults, and their cases are handled in criminal courts. Suspects between 7 and 15 may be charged as juveniles and their cases handled in family courts.
A woman who said she was Estevez’s mother hung up after saying she hadn’t spoken with her daughter since her arrest. It wasn’t clear whether either Estevez or Rodriguez had a lawyer.
One of Rodriguez’s neighbors, Zami Ford, told the Daily News she was unaware of the teen’s pregnancy and stunned by the allegations.
“She’s a good girl,” Ford told the newspaper. “I can’t believe she would do that.”