Woman Strangled Her Newborn Baby, Wrapped Him in a Bag, Stuffed Him in the Trash

State   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Oct 31, 2014   |   11:04AM   |   Chicago, IL

Jessica Cruz, then 19, gave birth to a boy in a public restroom in 2011. She allegedly strangled her baby and then dumped his body in a trash can and walked away. Shop staff found the baby dead in the trash, wrapped in a plastic bag.

Now, Cruz has admitted to wrapping the baby in a plastic bag and dumping him in a trash can but Cruz pleaded not guilty to murder. She told police she panicked after giving birth in the shop’s bathroom because her mother, from whom she had been hiding her pregnancy, was waiting outside. Employees at the Salvation Army store in Streamwood found the almost 7-pound baby dead in the trash, wrapped in a plastic bag.

jessicacruzDuring a court hearing, a videotape played showing Cruz admitting to killing the baby. During the hour-long interview taped after her arrest, Cruz repeatedly mentions the fear of her mother finding out about the pregnancy. When officials ask Cruz if the baby was still alive at birth, she says, “I think so.”

When asked if she took the life of her baby boy, she tells authorities, “Yes, but I don’t remember tying him up like that.”

The Chicago Tribune has more on this infanticide case:

Cruz, who was 19 at the time, said she didn’t know she was going to go into labor that morning until she started feeling sick.

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“I felt a sharp pain and then there was a lot of blood,” she said in the videotaped statement. Cruz said she did not take the time to determine the gender of the child and was in a panic because her mother — from whom Cruz had hid the pregnancy — was waiting for her outside.

Two Streamwood police detectives, Miguel Cabrales and Juan Carrillo, conducted the interrogation in Spanish as Cruz wept and repeated her fear that her mother would find out. In response to their questions, Cruz said she never heard the baby cry and didn’t remember tying the bag around his neck before placing it in the trash basket.

Defense attorneys tried to show that Cabrales and Carrillo persuaded a desperate Cruz to make the statement by using terms of endearment such as “sweetheart” and “love” and letting her see her daughter, who was then 18 months old.

“I didn’t want to tell (my mother about the pregnancy) because she had told me I had done a lot of bad things to her,” Cruz said in the videotape. “I don’t want to give her any more grief. She’s given me everything.”