Police: Woman hid dead newborn in shoebox

YORK, Pa. (WHTM) - A York County woman has been charged with concealing the death of her newborn child.

Kelsey N. Martin, 21, gave birth in her Springettsbury Township home, hid her baby in a shoebox, then told police she had no idea she was pregnant, according to charging documents filed by township police.

According to the criminal complaint, EMTs called to Martin's home April 10 found her bleeding in a bathtub. She told the ambulance crew she was diagnosed with a urinary tract infection after suffering abdominal pain earlier in the day, but she denied she was or had been pregnant.

She was transported to York Hospital where it was discovered she had given birth, but there was no baby. Police officers went to the home and found a shoebox with blood soaked clothing and another with the newborn in Martin's bedroom closet. Officers and a family member performed CPR, but an ambulance crew arrived and determined the baby was deceased, the complaint states.

Martin told police she had no idea that she was pregnant until she began having pains and the baby "just started coming out." She said she gently shook the baby to get it breathing, but when it made no noise, she said she panicked and placed it in the shoebox.

When her grandparents returned home, Martin told them she hit her nose on a dresser to explain the blood on the floor. She started bleeding, and her grandmother told her to sit in the bathtub and called 911.

An autopsy was unable to determine if the infant was born alive or stillborn.

The misdemeanor charge for concealing the death was filed Jan. 28 and a summons was issued Thursday, according to court records.

Martin's attorney, Christopher Ferro, said the charge is the result of a horrible but explainable tragedy. He said he looks forward to finding a resolution that accomplishes justice, but does not utterly destroy a wonderful, young girl.

"This is a highly emotional case and I would only ask that the public withhold final judgement and respect Kelsey's family and her presumption of innocence," Ferro said in a statement.

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