Tuesday, February 8, 2011
Mom Dumps New Born Infant In Toilet Bowl At Circus - Leaves Him to Sink or Swim
These are not twins but duplicate photos of the same infant, who may or may not be the newborn infant discussed in this story. Probably not but we needed a pic right away and all babies basically look the same. We'll swap them for the correct newborn infant as soon as his pic is made available.
The picture of the mom (see late breaking news below), Jessica Blackman, top right, is authentic and was taken by the cops after the mom was arrested. We won't be changing it.
Feb 08 (& 9th) 2011
SUSANNE M. SCHAFER - AP and the editors of BizarreStuff, who are unknown to Ms. Schafer.
See baffling, late breaking news about the mom and the bathroom birth at the end of this post. The duplicate photos of a baby above still are not photos of the real baby because no photo of the infant has been released.
GREENVILLE, S.C. — A young, married mother was arrested and charged for giving birth to her son in a toilet at a South Carolina sports and concert arena and leaving the choking newborn boy to die.
Jessica Blackham was arrested after she came to the Greenville police station accompanied by family members. Police Chief Terri Wilfong said the 25-year-old from Easley has a 4-year-old child and no criminal record.
"The family is very cooperative with us," Wilfong said. "Their concern is the safety of the child."
Blackham is charged with two counts of felony child abuse and one count of unlawful neglect toward a child. If convicted on all charges, she could face up to 50 years in prison.
Authorities said she was being held without bond after being arraigned at the local jail and would be appointed an attorney. Her first court appearance was not immediately set.
Officials said they could not explain what Blackham was thinking when she gave birth Friday night at the Bi-Lo Center where she was attending a circus performance. She most likely was thinking she didn't want another kid. Arena workers found the asphyxiating child in the cold toilet water.
Prosecutor Walt Wilkins, in a huge understatement, said the charges are serious because the infant was abandoned for at least 90 minutes. Would they be less serious if the infant was only abandoned for 45 minutes?
"During that time a newborn needs to be in a warm atmosphere," said Wilkins, adding the child was choking when arena workers found him.
In another colossal understatement, Wilfong said,"Workers saved that baby's life." Duh?
Authorities would not discuss the identity of the infant's father for reasons known only to them, possibly trying to piggy back on the state secrets doctrine.
The baby was found suffering from hypothermia, which an expert said is one of the biggest risks for babies born away from medical care. The condition could lead to infection or breathing problems if not treated quickly.
"When a baby is moist and has exposure of its skin to the air, it will lose heat very rapidly," said Dr. Christopher Robinson, a fetal and maternal medicine professor at the Medical University of South Carolina in Charleston.
Roger Newton, president and general manager of the 13-year-old Bi-Lo Center in downtown Greenville, said he'd never encountered anything like this in his 33 years of managing arenas from Ottawa, Canada, to Miami, Fla.
The manager said he'd had to deal with a death during his career, but never a birth. He said the cleaning crew members deserved high praise for how they handled it.
"They did everything they should have, and we're very proud of them," he said.
However, with the near collapse of the local economy these heroic workers may very well be laid off next week or next month. Heroics and $3.25 will get you a latte at any Starbucks.
Residents in this conservative region said they were shocked by the boy's discovery and concerned about both mother and child, though they knew nothing about either.
"It's unfortunate that anyone has to go that far, and wouldn't know what to do," said Lorna Sexton, 54, of nearby Taylors. "It broke my heart to hear it. Let's hope the girl, the woman, is able to get some help." The best help for her at this time is a first rate criminal defense attorney.
Rampey said the infant was admitted to Greenville Memorial Hospital in critical condition. Evidence in the women's bathroom indicated the baby was born there.
Rampey said officials put out a plea for help from the public to help identify the mother and child after investigators searched through surveillance tapes. The video checks were difficult because thousands of people attended the circus, he said.
Police were referring inquiries about adopting the newborn to social services, Rampey said.
Assuming the infant survives, at what age should he be told the circumstances of his birth? Child psychologists said it might seriously affect how the child feels about his birth mom. She has a lot of explaining to do, according to one of them.
"With social services involved it might be 3 years before the kid can be adopted," said a local attorney who spoke only on condition of celibacy. Celibacy? WTF?
In late breaking, follow-up news, Jessica Blackman, the mom who left her new born infant in the toilet bowl in a public restroom at a sports complex, says she didn't know she was pregnant (the baby weighed 6 pounds) and doesn't remember giving birth to the baby in the bathroom. It apparently was an easy birth if mom didn't notice.