New DNA technology recently helped Florida authorities find the parents of a dead newborn baby whose body was discovered floating in the ocean more than four years ago.
On Thursday, Palm Beach County authorities announced the arrest of the baby girl’s mother, Arya Singh, 29, on first-degree murder charges, ABC News reports.
“The men and women in law enforcement always think they’re tough and they’ve seen it all,” Palm Beach Sheriff Rich Bradshaw told reporters at a press conference, according to NBC News. “But I guarantee you when you see an infant, a newborn infant floating in the ocean that somebody has discarded like a piece of trash, it tugs at your heart.”
The body of “Baby June” was discovered on June 1, 2018, floating in the ocean near the Boynton Beach Inlet in Florida, authorities said.
For years, however, Palm Beach County Special Investigations Unit Captain Steven Strivelli said their investigations did not turn up any evidence about Baby June’s parents or suspects who may have contributed to her death.
“We were starting to look like we were heading towards a dead end,” Strivelli said at the press conference.
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Recently, however, a potential relative popped up on the CODIS website, leading investigators to Baby June’s father, according to ABC.
Sherriff’s Office Detective Brittany Christoffel said the father did not know anything about Baby June but did cooperate with authorities in their investigation. She said he told investigators that he had been dating a woman, Singh, at the time and she told him that she had been pregnant but took “care of it.”
“He was thinking she perhaps had an abortion,” Christoffel said at the press conference.
Here’s more form the report:
Investigators obtained a “covert DNA sample” from his former girlfriend — “a piece of garbage she discarded” — and confirmed she was the mother of the newborn, Christoffel said.
Through search warrants, they learned she had been at the inlet on May 30, 2018 — 48 hours prior to when the baby was found — and had searched for and seen news articles about the discovery in the following days and weeks.
Authorities said they arrested and charged Singh with first-degree murder in the death of her child. Investigators said she told them that she did not know she was pregnant until she gave birth to the baby girl. However, that does not match with what the baby’s father told authorities.
Infanticide, like abortion, destroys the life of a unique and valuable child who is fully dependent on his/her parents to survive. The pro-life movement works to protect newborns from infanticide as well as abortion by supporting safe haven laws, adoption and resources to help pregnant and parenting families.
All 50 states have safe haven laws that allow mothers to safely surrender their newborns to authorities, often at a police station or hospital, without repercussions as long as the infant is unharmed. Typically, laws allow safe surrender within a certain time limit, such as up to 30 days after the baby’s birth. Indiana and several other states also have heated baby boxes where women can safely surrender newborns.