A Staten Island prosecutor drew gasps on Monday as she described to the court how police found the body of a baby girl with her thumb next to her mouth in the trash last weekend.
The baby girl’s mother, Nausheen Rahman, 28, was in the Staten Island courtroom on Monday, facing second-degree murder charges after allegedly throwing her newborn daughter into the trash.
According to The Blaze, a prosecutor told the court that Rahman did not even take the time to see that her child was a girl when she put the baby’s body into a garbage bag.
Rahman’s parents attended the hearing Monday and were seen covering their faces with their hands as they listened to the gruesome details, The New York Times reports. Prosecutors said Rahman lived with her parents and hid her pregnancy from them.
“The actions of this defendant are so horrendous and so reprehensible that it shocks one’s conscience,” Assistant District Attorney Jane Grinberg said.
Rahman reportedly went to the hospital on Friday, complaining of pain and bleeding. There, the Staten Island, New York woman told medical staff that she had given birth to a baby at home, and her baby was dead. However, when authorities investigated, they discovered her newborn baby girl had been born alive, according to the report.
Rahman changed her story about giving birth to the doctors, Grinberg told the court. She said when police arrived at Rahman’s home, they found her baby’s bloody body inside a bag in a trash can outside of the house. Police said the newborn girl’s thumb was next to her mouth.
Later, “she told detectives the baby was moving after birth and once she cut the umbilical cord the baby stopped moving,” Grinberg said. “The baby had air in its lungs.”
Michael Robert Rosas, Rahman’s lawyer, said he has doubts about the prosecution’s story and plans to conduct his own investigation.
Police initially charged Rahman with concealment of a human corpse, but later increased the charges to second-degree murder on Sunday after a medical examiner determined that her baby girl was alive at some point before being thrown into the trash, NBC 4 reports. On Monday, a spokeswoman for the medical examiner’s office said the cause of the baby’s death still is under investigation.
The New York City Police Department said officers found the body of Rahman’s newborn daughter around 11:30 a.m. Saturday in a trash bag outside of her condominium. The baby was pronounced dead at the scene, according to reports.
At the hospital on Friday night, Rahman told the medical staff that she had given birth five days ago, but her baby had died and she threw away the body, according to the report. Later, she said she gave birth on Thursday.
Neighbors told local news agencies that Rahman’s family had lived in the area for a long time, but they were not aware that she was pregnant. They said she often wore the type of loose clothing that is traditional among Indian women.
The New York Times reported that another neighbor who wished to remain anonymous said Rahman seemed like a “sweet girl” who often joked with the postal lady.
Another neighbor, Brenda Santiago told PIX 11, “So much help we have out there, and I guess she didn’t know where to go.”
While Rahman’s motives and the details of her case are unknown, her neighbor is correct about help being available. One such provision that could have helped Rahman and her baby is New York’s Safe Haven law.
In New York, a woman can leave a newborn up to 30 days old at a safe haven without facing any recourse, as long as the baby does not appear to be abused. Women do not need to provide their names or any other information. State authorities will care for the baby and provide medical treatment, if necessary, until a permanent family can be found to raise the child.