A Texas teenager is facing capital murder charges after she killed her newborn baby at home. The deceased infant was found in a flower pot at a cemetery with the umbilical cord still attached. Jazmin Lopez told police she delivered the baby at home in February.
According to CBS 11 in Dallas, the case of the dead newborn broke wide open in March. A caretaker at a cemetery noticed an out of place flower pot placed between two headstones. After finding the container, the worker discovered the body of a newborn buried in the soil. The worker reported the incident to police.
When police began investigating the case, they released details to the media to locate the mother. Not long after the announcement, Jazmin Lopez came forward as the baby’s mother.
In initial police interviews, Jazmin told investigators she delivered the baby at home in February. After she gave birth, she told police that she passed out. When she woke up, she said the baby was dead.
However, police obtained access to Jazmin’s electronic records and found images of the baby. Also, they found conversations between Jazmin and a man regarding abortion. The discussions about abortion took place during her 4 and five months of pregnancy.
Unable to obtain an abortion, Jazmin continued with the pregnancy. When police told her about the messages, she changed her story. She told police that she gave birth to the baby at home in her closet.
After she delivered the baby, she cleaned up the blood and threw the placenta in the trash. She told police she placed her daughter in a basket and covered her with blankets. Jazmin denied killing her daughter. Instead, her excuse was that she covered the baby’s mouth so she would not cry. Jazmin told police she wanted to hide the baby’s birth from her family.
“Jazmin demonstrated that she took her shirt off and wrapped the baby up. She said the baby was moving and gasping for air. Jazmin said she knew the baby was about to cry so she covered her mouth. She said she took the shirt and covered the baby’s face and then held the baby against her body for one to two minutes,” the affidavit states.
Next, she ate breakfast and called a friend to help her. When her friend arrived, she placed her daughter in a backpack. According to the affidavit, she knew that her daughter was dead by this time. She told police “she wasn’t moving like before.”
After she got into her friend’s car, they drove to Home Depot. They purchased a flower pot and soil. The two buried her daughter in the flower pot.
Then they drove to a cemetery and placed the pot between two headstones. After they disposed of the baby, Jazmin went home. She told police that she never told her family about the birth. Additionally, she received no medical care following birth.A coroner examination of the deceased infant determined the baby was 34 weeks gestation and around 6 pounds. There are no details provided about the cause of death.
Police arrested Jazmin on Apil 17, 2019 and charged her with capital murder. The court placed a $500,000 bond for the crime.
Texas has a law called the Baby Moses Law. Any mother that delivers a baby can surrender the infant at a designated safe place without facing a penalty. Safe places include hospitals, fire stations, free-standing emergency centers, or an emergency medical services station.
While the teen did not want to be a mother, she did not have to kill her baby. Instead of obtaining an abortion, Jazmin decided to kill her baby. The baby’s death is entirely avoidable and needless.
There are many questions about pregnancy and death that remain unknown.
How did she hide the pregnancy from her family?
Why did she hide the pregnancy?
What was going on in her life that made her feel like the death of the baby was the only option?
Does religion play a role in her decision not to tell her family?
Even though it’s 2019, there is still a lot of stigmas associated with teen pregnancy. Did she fear her family’s response to the unexpected pregnancy?
As the case is sorted out, two lives are tragically lost. The baby is now deceased, and a teenager may never walk in the free world again.
*Katie Joy is a columnist and hosts Without A Crystal Ball on Patheos Non-Religious Channel. She writes articles on parenting, disability advocacy, debunking pseudoscience, atheism, and crimes against women and children.
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