A 16-year-old Ohio teen has been arrested after her infant twins were found dead in a garbage can behind her Cleveland residence.
According to 19 News, the teen is being charged with two counts of involuntary manslaughter, two counts of gross abuse of a corpse, two counts of endangering children, and one count of tampering with evidence.
The girl had initially faced murder charges, but Cuyahoga County Prosecutor Mike O’Malley reviewed the case and determined a charge of involuntary manslaughter was “more appropriate.” She is being charged in juvenile court and her identity is not being released due to her age.
According to WKYC, the girl had hid her pregnancy from her family. The girl’s mother called police Saturday after finding the babies’ bodies in the trash behind their residence. The girl then admitted to her mother that she “threw the babies in the garbage.” Police say the babies were likely born Thursday and were around 30 weeks gestation. Neighbors reported hearing infant cries Thursday evening but did not suspect anything was wrong.
Like all states, Ohio has a safe haven law that allows a parent to surrender an infant if they feel unable to care for the child themselves. In Ohio, a child up to 30 days old can be surrendered to a medical worker in a hospital, a medical worker in a fire department or other emergency service organization, or a peace officer at a law enforcement agency.
“We are here for people on the worst day of their lives,” Mike Norman with Cleveland Fire told 3News. “That order explains how to receive the baby, how to arrange for the transport to a medical facility care for the mother.”
Safe haven laws are in place to prevent tragedies like this one from occurring. According to the National Safe Haven Alliance, 4,778 babies across the country have been saved by these laws.
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