A Texas man has been arrested in connection with an apparent murder of a newborn baby after officials found human tissue from the infant in a drainage pipe. Police say they found the dead baby hidden inside a home and indicated there was “visible trauma to the body.”
On Monday morning, according to a report in People magazine, an 18-year-old woman arrived at Hendrick Medical Center to be treated for severe bleeding. Doctors determined the bleeding was due to her giving birth to a full-term baby within the last few hours even though she did not arrive at the hospital with the child.
Police then went to the woman’s home with a plumber using a fiber optic video camera and found the placenta in a sewage pipe on the west side of the home.
“We need to determine whether this child was born alive or not,” Sgt. Lynn Beard with the Abilene Police Department said. “That will dictate what actions we take from that point. The child will be sent off to [the] Tarrant County [Medical Examiner’s Officer] for an autopsy.”
Damian Scott Cate, 22, is charged with murder and tampering with physical evidence with intent to impair a human corpse and is being held in the Taylor County Jail on $300,000 bail.
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Because she wasn’t carrying a child with her when she arrived at the hospital, detectives went to the woman’s house where they allegedly discovered “tissue remains inside” a drainage pipe leading to the residence’s sewer, according to the statement.
Police searched the rest of the home, “and later located the body of the infant hidden inside the residence,” reads the statement. Authorities say the baby’s body had signs of “visible trauma.”
Court records indicate Cate was detained late Monday. Meanwhile, authorities confirm additional charges could be forthcoming as their investigation continues.