The body of an infant born a few weeks premature was found wrapped in a blanket inside a storage bin at a Planned Parenthood in North Carolina just over a decade ago, according to police and local media reports.
Now her mother has been charged in the newborn’s death.
Jennifer McMillan Crow, 44, was arrested Tuesday and charged with involuntary manslaughter, arrest records for the Winston-Salem Police Department show. She was subsequently released under a $100,000 unsecured bond, WBTW reported.
Employees discovered the baby just before 7 a.m. on Saturday, Sept. 11, 2010, according to the TV station.
“Inside the worker found what initially appeared to be a baby doll,” WBTW reported. “After looking more closely, it was discovered that it was a dead newborn baby girl.”
In an article from 2010, The Winston-Salem Journal reported the infant had been wearing a diaper and “a one-piece garment” when she was discovered.
Dr. Donald Jason, who performed the baby’s autopsy at Wake Forest University Baptist Medical Center, told the newspaper at the time that the blanket hadn’t obstructed her airways. He also said the baby was alive when she was born and did not have any bruising.
State lawmakers passed a bill in 2001 called the Infant Abandonment Act that permits parents to leave a baby less than a week old at a designated “safe haven” — which includes Planned Parenthood, The Journal reported.
The Lewisville United Methodist Church held a funeral service for the baby on Sept. 29, 2010, WXII reported. They named her “Therese, the little flower.”
But for years, investigators said they had no leads on who might have left the baby.
It wasn’t until detectives took a second look at the original investigation last fall that a new lead developed, WXII reported.
Police said the baby’s cause of death was perinatal pneumonia and environmental hypothermia, The Journal reported Thursday. She also had some complications from being born premature.
It wasn’t immediately clear Friday how they linked Crow to the infant’s death.
Crow’s next court date is March 25 in Forsyth County.