Purvi Patel was arrested last July after she took abortion pills to end her 28-30 weeks pregnancy. Patel later admitted to police that she had placed the newborn in a dumpster behind a local restaurant, which her family owns. The infant was dead at the time the baby was found.
According to a court affidavit released on to WSBT, a South Bend police investigator said Patel went to the emergency room at St. Joseph Regional Medical Center on July 13. Doctors there believed she had recently delivered a child.
The investigator said Patel denied giving birth. She was then taken to the maternity floor for further diagnosis and treatment.
The officer said Patel eventually told medical staff she had delivered a baby in her Granger home and that she did not see the child breathing or moving and believed it was dead. Patel then told doctors she put the baby’s body in a bag and placed the baby in a trash bin behind the Super Target in Mishawaka.
Fearing for the child, the affidavit says that an emergency room doctor drove to the Super Target and started searching the Dumpsters. He called St. Joseph County police, who joined in the search. Officers then found the newborn’s body in a trash bin behind Moe’s Southwest Grill.
Now, the trial is taking place in the case and evidence presented in the courtroom shows text message from a Parel to a friend reveal her intentions:
In opening statements Monday, a deputy prosecuting attorney detailed for the jury Purvi Patel’s text messages exchanged with a friend before, during and after police say the then 32-year-old forced her body to have an abortion before putting her newborn in a dumpster.
Deputy Prosecuting Attorney Aimee Herring said Patel began texting her friend about her condition in April 2013 about an irregular menstrual cycle and cramping. The friend urged Patel to see a doctor, Herring said, but she did not.
The texts apparently continued through May and into June, when Herring said Patel took a pregnancy test that was positive.
On June 10, Patel text messaged her friend about ordering abortion pills from an “international pharmacy,” and when the friend asked Patel three more times to see a doctor, she replied, “I’d rather not even go to a doc. I just want to get this over with,” Herring said.
According to text messages, the pills arrived at Moe’s Southwest Grill in Mishawaka – a restaurant Patel’s family owns – in early July. But Patel waited to take those pills until July 10, continuing to provide a detailed account of her situation to her friend, Herring told the jury.
“BTW, these pills taste like sh**. If these pills don’t work…I’m gonna be mad,” the text messages allegedly said.
Then on July 13, Patel text messaged her friend, “Just lost the baby. I’m gonna clean up the bathroom and then go to Moe’s.”
That’s where investigators have said they ultimately found the baby, in a dumpster, wrapped in plastic bags.
“The evidence in this case is irrefutable that some pretty terrible things happened July 13 and 14 of 2013,” Herring said in opening statements. “A mother lost her child. What could be more terrible than that? Well the evidence will show that the loss of that child in this particular case was not due to any natural cause. In fact, the loss of that child’s life was the direct result of that mother, Purvi Patel’s actions.”
Documents also allege Patel took drugs ordered from Hong Kong to try to abort the pregnancy. Patel has pleaded not guilty to the neglect charge.
Chief Deputy Prosecutor Mark Roule said the state has made it clear since October it intended to file a feticide charge if the case went to trial. He said the two charges stemmed from the same set of facts and spurred no new discovery specifically related to feticide.
Indiana law defines feticide as knowingly or intentionally terminating a human pregnancy with an intention other than to produce a live birth or to remove a dead fetus. Feticide carries a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison. Neglect carries a maximum sentence of 50 years.
Mike Fichter of Indiana Right to Life told LifeNews: “This sad situation highlights the need for greater public awareness of the life-saving Safe Haven Law. Indiana, like many other states, allows a mother or other caregiver to give up a child at a police station, fire station or emergency room with no questions asked. Every child deserve a chance. The Safe Haven Law gives a child a future and a mother an option to leave the child without facing legal consequences as seen in this current case.”