Dead Newborn Baby Found in Shoplifter’s Bag Was Born Alive, Likely Asphyxiated

National   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Oct 18, 2013   |   6:04PM   |   Washington, DC

A teenage girl at the center of an infanticide case now faces homicide charges after reports showed the dead newborn child found in her Victoria’s Secret bag was born alive and then likely asphyxiated to death.

Tiona Rodriguez and Francis Estevez, both 17, were stopped for suspected shoplifting and a security guard found the baby’s body inside a bag. After questioning, Rodriguez told police officers that she had suffered a miscarriage the day before and did not know what to do.

Now, new reports indicate an autopsy showed the baby was born alive at full term and officials are investigating whether he died of asphyxiation. The autopsy revealed that Rodriguez’s baby boy was actually born alive at full term and could have died of asphyxiation. Officials are now investigating the cause of his death and have not ruled out another explanation.

Officials also found hundreds of dollars worth of stolen goods inside the bags and then a security guard noticed there was a strong odor inside and found a tiny body under the loot.

Rodriguez told officers that she had suffered a miscarriage the day before and did not know what to do, so had stashed the baby in the bag. The teen as taken to Bellevue Hospital and reportedly remains under surveillance.

The New York Daily News has the latest:

So far the 17-year-old Brooklyn teenager is only charged with swiping lingerie and is believed to still be at Bellevue Hospital under a police watch.

Zami Ford, her longtime neighbor at the Marcy Houses in Bedford-Stuyvesant, told The Daily News “I don’t believe she would choke her own child.”

“We’re neighbors, we grew up together,” said Ford, 17. “Tiona is not that type. She is a loving girl.”

Meanwhile, more police began searching the apartment Rodriguez shares with her mom and son.

On Wednesday night, Rodriguez possibly hinted at her predicament in a Facebook page post that read: “These Cramps SON.” Rodriguez also wrote that she was excited about the job interview she had Wednesday at a Chipotle.

Shoppers were shocked by the news.

“It makes me feel sick. I don’t understand the thought process, to have a baby in a bag and then shoplift,” Erit Maor told the New York Post. She added that she had not known about the “macabre discovery” until told by reporters.

“I think it’s very strange that they didn’t shut down the store. I feel a level of disrespect,” she added.

“You wouldn’t know anything had happened if you were in there. You would think it would look like a crime scene,” Maor said. “I’ve never heard of anything like this.”

“I think it’s crazy. It’s a newborn baby in a bag. I just had a baby a month ago and I’m shocked,” said Jazmin Barrett. “She needs some psychological help.”