Ashley Caraballo, 30, was charged with criminal homicide, concealing the death of a child and abuse of a corpse, the Lehigh County district attorney said Wednesday.
"This was a very difficult case and one which took a toll on the officers involved," District Attorney Jim Martin said.
In October 2017, Caraballo was taken to a hospital where doctors found evidence that she had recently given birth, although she denied having done so.
State police searched the Allentown home where Caraballo and her partner, who faces no charges, were living with their five children. Troopers reported finding a deceased male baby wrapped in a sheet inside a backpack within a 5-gallon (19-liter) paint bucket in a storage area of the basement, Martin said.
An initial autopsy termed the cause of death undetermined, but another forensic pathologist concluded that the baby was born alive and the cause of death was one of or a combination of asphyxia, blood loss, and/or hypothermia. Another forensic pathologist agreed that the baby had been born alive and said the manner of death was homicide.
"This case presented complex medical issues which had to be thoroughly examined and investigated in order to determine whether or not the baby was born alive and therefore whether Ms. Caraballo could be charged with murder," Martin said.
A message was left with Caraballo's attorney seeking comment.
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