Mom who left infant in woods: ‘I'm sorry for what I did to my daughter'

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WALL, Pa. - A judge ordered the 24-year-old mother who East McKeesport police said left her 8-month-old baby alone in a wooded area last week with only a one-piece on and a bottle of milk to stand trial.

According to the criminal complaint, Jennifer Cutruzzula told officers she intentionally left the child near Irwin Street in the Borough of Wall because she wanted a "fresh start."

"She admitted she put the baby there, left a bottle of milk with the child and said she had been overwhelmed," said East McKessport police Chief Russ Stroschein.

As Cutruzzula walked into her court appearance Thursday she told Channel 11’s Renee Kaminski that she was sorry for what she did.

“I’m sorry for what I did to my daughter. I don’t know why I did it. I think I’m suffering from post-partum distress,” Cutruzulla said. “I don’t know what I was thinking. I was just thinking if she was no good with me, then I don’t know who she would be better with.”

Investigators said Lynn and Andy Wiser, who live near the area, saw Cutruzzula walk into the woods and leave the child. They called 911 and then rescued the baby.

“She walked into the area with the intention of abandoning the child. A group of people saw her go into the woods and come out, so they called 911,” District Attorney Steve Zappala said.

Zappala gave credit to the neighbor who called 911, as well as East McKeesport police for responding so quickly.

"He said [the baby] had flipped onto her belly like it was trying to crawl around," Stroschein said. "I have never seen anything like this. I don't know how anyone could leave a child in the woods and walk away."

Cutruzzula told Kaminski that she eventually went back for her daughter, but she was already rescued.

“I have learning disabilities, and I didn’t understand at the time,” Cutruzzula said.

The Wisers said Thursday that they hope Cutruzzula gets help.

“I want her to get some help. Clearly she wasn’t thinking,” Andy Wiser said.

There’s no word when Cutruzzula’s trial will begin.