An 18-year-old mother is facing a capital murder charge in Alabama after she allegedly threw her newborn baby boy into a trash compactor. He was alive at the time.
Police say that after searching an area landfill, Jakayla Williams’ son was found dead in a load of trash. Dothan Police Chief Will Benny told reporters that Williams did not tell her friends or family about what she did after giving birth to the baby boy at home on August 13.
According to Law & Crime, on August 23, her family discovered that she had been pregnant and given birth. She allegedly said that after giving birth, she took her baby to Southeast Health Medical Center, but then the family called the hospital out of concern for the baby. Williams returned to the facility accompanied by a family member. Williams then told staff that she wanted her son whom she had given birth to, and that she had left her baby with a “red-headed” employee.
Staff then called the police, who began an investigation, including searching video from the hospital surveillance cameras; the footage showed that Williams never went to the hospital with her son. Williams then admitted to the police that she did not want to be a mother because having a baby “cost too much money.” She decided to wrap the baby in a blanket and put him in the dumpster at an apartment building.
Police searched the dumpster, which had a trash compactor, and found the baby boy’s body wrapped in a mattress protector which was put inside a duffel bag and zipped closed.
“It is absolutely shocking. In all my years of law enforcement, I’ve never heard of anything so horrific as this,” said Chief William Benny. “It shocks the mind. It shocks the soul. I don’t even really know what else to say about it.”
WSFA12 reported that Alabama, as with every state, has a Safe Haven law and that Williams could have brought her son to Southeast Health where she could have safely and anonymously surrendered him, no questions asked. Alabama’s Safe Haven Law allows infants up to 45 days old (previously three days old) to be surrendered, including in Safe Haven Baby Boxes at fire stations.
Williams is being held without bail at the Dothan City Jail and prosecutors have not determined if they will seek the death penalty.