‘I will never forget’: Local woman arrested after miscarriage shares her story

WARREN, Ohio (WJW) –  Brittany Watts took a deep breath and leaned back in her chair before speaking.

“It’s been rough,” Watts, 34, said as she sat next to her attorney, Traci Timko. “But I am here because I don’t want this to happen to anyone else. I want to speak for all women.”

She took another deep breath as she began to recall the events of what happened roughly four months ago.

In September, Watts was 22-weeks pregnant when she started cramping and bleeding. She went to a local hospital twice the week of Sept.17, and was told the baby she was carrying was not viable.

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On Sept. 22, she miscarried in the toilet of her bathroom. A few hours later, her mother drove her to the hospital.

“I wanted help, I needed medical help,” Watts said. “I never thought they would call the police.”

Warren police were sent to the hospital after a nurse called 911, saying they had a mother who gave birth and came to the hospital without the baby.

The nurse told the dispatcher the mother said the remains were in a bucket in the backyard and that she didn’t want the baby.

Watts told the I-Team she never said she didn’t want the baby.

“This was my baby,” Watts said. “I am sitting there with the IV hooked into me, and the nurse comes in followed by the police officer. The same nurse who was rubbing my shoulders saying, ‘you are going to be fine,’ followed by this big police officer, saying ‘you are not in trouble.’ He said ‘I just want to have a conversation with you.’ At the same time, my phone is pinging, the police are at my house.”

The FOX 8 I-Team filed public record requests with Warren police to obtain the police file, including body camera video and the audio of the detective’s interview with Brittany while she was in a hospital room.

Both the nurse and the detective can be heard on the recording asking Brittany repeatedly if she saw the baby and urging her to tell them where the remains were located.

During the nearly hourlong questioning, Brittany kept saying she only saw tissue and blood, that she never saw the baby. She said she didn’t know she was to bring the remains to the hospital, so she cleaned up the bathroom as best as she could. She said some of the tissue and blood was put in a bucket and then she flushed the toilet.

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The fetus was found stuck in a pipe in the toilet. Police removed the toilet from Brittany’s home as evidence. Several days later, she was charged with abuse of a corpse for flushing the toilet.

“My mom got a call from the detective that there was a warrant out for my arrest and they were coming to get me,” Brittany said. “They handcuffed me. I am taken out of the police car and still handcuffed. I sat in the courtroom and I pled not guilty because that is exactly what I was — not guilty.”

Her attorney, Timko, says a coroner’s report stated the fetus was not viable and had died in the womb.

Brittany said she spent weeks worrying and praying. She found comfort in the hundreds of letters she received from dozens of strangers .

Earlier this month, her prayers were answered . The Trumbull County grand jury refused to indict her on the charge.

“When I found out, my knees buckled,” Brittany said. “It was a weight that was lifted off my shoulders, not just for me, but for all women.”

She added that now she is no longer fighting for her own freedom. She wants to be a voice for women’s rights. She says she wants to make sure what happened to her doesn’t happen to anyone else.

“I can forgive,” Brittany said. “But I will never forget.”

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