A California woman was arrested on Tuesday after police found a full-term dead newborn in a white trash bag stashed under her bed.
After months of investigation, Courtney Addington, of Sacramento, is being held without bail for murdering her infant.
Authorities think the 24-year-old woman likely gave birth at home in January and disposed of the baby in the trash bag that investigators found in her home. An autopsy revealed that the baby, who is being called Hayden Elaine, was born alive but didn’t determine the exact cause of death.
Family members suspected that Addington was pregnant but she claimed her changing body shape was the result of her irritable bowel syndrome (IBS).
Addington saw a doctor at Mercy General Hospital for excessive bleeding in January. She said the bleeding was a result of IBS but doctors determined that she had recently given birth, according to ABC’s News 10, Sacramento.
Investigators found no mention of IBS in Addington’s medical records. They did find Internet searches for the phrases “irritable bowel syndrome medications,” “signs that your water is about to break,” “what to expect in labor,” and “how to stop loss of blood,” on her cell phone, according to News 10.
Addington appeared in court on Thursday after her arraignment. She and family members said little and haven’t spoken to the media.
Authorities noted it’s unfortunate that Addington didn’t take advantage of California’s Safely Surrendered Baby Law Safely Surrendered Baby Law, according to the Daily Mail. Signed permanently into state law in January 2006, the law allows women to leave a newborn in a hospital or a fire station within 72 hours of delivery without retribution. The law was introduced in response to an increasing number of newborn infant deaths due to abandonment in unsafe locations.