SHENANGO TOWNSHIP (KDKA) — A 23-year-old woman is facing charges after her newborn baby was found dead outside a Shenango Township home Sunday afternoon.
Police say a newborn baby boy was found in a crawl space around 3 p.m. Sunday under a porch at a home on Ellwood Road in Shenango Township. Police were on scene serving a search warrant and looking through evidence well into the night.
Brittany Robinson, 23, the mother of the newborn is facing charges of criminal homicide, abuse of a corpse and other charges.
Robinson was taken to UPMC Horizon Shenango Valley hospital in Farrell for treatment related to childbirth. State police said she was discharged early Monday morning and immediately taken into custody by state troopers. She was interviewed by investigators and then taken to the Lawrence County Jail.
“The homeowner was out preparing wiring for some decorative lighting and came across the bag in which he discovered a baby,” said Lt. Eric Hermick with the Pennsylvania State Police.
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Police say the homeowner called 911. They say the baby was wrapped in a T-shirt and placed inside a plastic Walmart bag. They believe the baby was placed in the crawl space sometime in the last 24 hours and also believe the newborn was born during that timeframe.
“The baby was a viable 7-pound baby boy,” said Hermick. “They’re still looking to determine if there was some exterior cause of death or the elements that killed the baby, but either way, the baby was born alive and cleaned up and then placed under there.”
Police said the homeowner lives at the home with his two sons, Robinson, who is his daughter, and another man.
Police spent hours questioning the family inside the barracks.
“They’ve all indicated to us weren’t they aware, that she kept it a secret,” said Hermick. “There’s laws in place that protect mothers if they don’t want their child. They can drop it off at police station, a hospital, fire department… [There are] a lot of families out there that want children that can’t have children.”
Robinson also has an 8-year-old child; however, she does not have custody of that child.
The Lawrence County coroner, who’s also investigating this case, says they’re waiting on autopsy results to come back so they can determine the official cause of death.