‘Heartbreaking’: Eckersley family speaks out after daughter gives birth in woods
MLB Hall of Famer Dennis Eckersley’s family calls the circumstances that led to his daughter’s arrest “heartbreaking” after she allegedly misled investigators about the location of her newborn son she delivered inside a tent in the bitterly cold New Hampshire woods.
“We are utterly devastated by the events that unfolded on Christmas night when our daughter Allie delivered a baby while living in a tent. It is heartbreaking that a child was born under such unthinkable conditions and in such tragic circumstances,” said the family of Alexandra Eckersley, 26, in a statement.
Police: Mom gave birth to baby in New Hampshire woods, left newborn in freezing tent
Alexandra Eckersley, 26, was arrested on Sunday, December 25 after her newborn son was found unclothed, freezing and alone on the floor of a frost-coated tent.
Officers responded to a report of a woman who had given birth to a baby in a tent in the woods near the West Side Arena in Manchester just before 1 a.m. Eckersley allegedly revealed the true location of the infant after officers spent more than an hour searching in the wrong location. Eckersley allegedly told EMTs that “she had no idea she was pregnant and that she felt she had to use the bathroom,” according to an affidavit.
According to the Eckersley family, their adopted daughter has suffered from “severe mental illness all her life” and had been hospitalized several times to be treated for her illnesses. The family also states that they had no idea Alexandra was pregnant.
“We did our very best to get Allie all of the help and support humanly possible,” said the family. “Once Allie became an adult there was even less we could do because she was legally free to make her own decisions as long as she was not a danger to herself or others. Under existing laws, there was simply no way to force her to receive treatment. Nonetheless, we continued to support her as best we could.”
The family says Alexandra has lived on the streets of New Hampshire since she was 20 years old but are hopeful that this ordeal will cause her to seek professional treatment.
“We have always offered Allie a path home but she has made other choices,” said the Eckersley family. “We hope Allie now accepts the treatment she desperately needs for her mental health issues. We also hope that all those who have heard this tragic story withhold judgment about our daughter until all the facts come out.”
The Eckersley family says they are in the process of filing a guardianship petition in order to receive more information regarding Alexandra’s newborn son and to eventually gain decision-making control.
“We thank you for your support and prayers for this beautiful, innocent baby boy. We hope people understand what an agonizing situation this is and we respectfully ask for privacy.”
According to investigators, it was about 18 degrees when they rescued the baby.
“As soon as the baby was picked up, members of our fire department and American Medical Response got handed the baby and immediately warmed the baby as much as they could in the back of the fire truck and drove to the hospital,” said Manchester Fire Chief Ryan Cashin.
Cashin noted that the swift emergency response “saved the baby’s life.”
Eckersley was arraigned in Hillsboro Superior Court-North on Tuesday and is facing charges of endangering the welfare of a child, falsifying physical evidence, second-degree assault, and reckless conduct, according to authorities.
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