Teen tried to cover up home birth by throwing newborn from window
- Teenage mother from Arizona facing charges of attempted murder
- The 16-year-old was trying to cover up giving birth to a little girl
- She threw the baby out of a window after giving birth in the bathroom
- Infant was found with head injuries after falling five feet
By Helen Pow and Sara Malm
PUBLISHED: 13:17 GMT, 10 October 2013 | UPDATED: 14:42 GMT, 10 October 2013
A teenage mother faces charges of attempted murder after she tried to cover up giving birth by throwing the newborn out of her bathroom window.
The 16-year-old from east Mesa, Arizona has been arrested two days after her baby girl was found with head injuries, having fallen 5ft into an abandoned shed.
Officers had been called to the girl's home Sunday afternoon after her family had reported her bleeding heavily.
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Scene: A 16-year-old Arizona mother could be facing criminal charges after her newborn baby was discovered abandoned in a shed outside her Mesa, Arizona home, pictured
When they arrived, they discovered the teenager, who has not been identified due to her young age, bleeding profusely.
Family members said they had found the placenta but couldn't locate the child, prompting a panicked search.
The little girl was found half an hour later in an outbuilding attached to the bathroom where the mother gave birth.
'Deputies stayed on scene and were very vigilant looking around the property and approximately 30 minutes later, they found the baby in the back shed area,' said Joaquin Enriquez of Maricopa County Sheriff's Office.
The infant was awake and alert but was taken to hospital with life-threatening injuries, including a possible skull fracture, but is expected to survive. The mother was also rushed to hospital.
Hospital: Both mother and baby were rushed to hospital but they are believed to be in stable condition
The teen could face charges because
she could have dropped the infant off at a nearby hospital or fire
station under Arizona's 'Safe Haven' law but didn't.
The 2001 law allows anyone to anonymously drop off unharmed infants within 72 hours of their birth, no questions asked.
The home is located around the corner from a fire station and about a mile from a hospital.
The teenage mother is under observation at the hospital. She has not been arrested, but detectives are treating this as a potential criminal investigation.
Child Protective Services has been contacted and is working with deputies to determine exactly what happened.
Raising awareness of the 12-year-old law has proved a challenge, Phoenix Fire Deputy Chief Chris Ketterer told Azcentral.com.
'It breaks my heart to hear that sometimes they simply don't know what to do and they choose to discard the child as if they were trash,' he said. 'This is not a birth control or right-to-life issue. The child is here. How are we going to deal with it?
'If we could just get that information to an adult and say, "You don't have to offer any information, just pass the child into our hands. We'll take the child, give it the care it needs ... and ask no questions of you."'