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Teen Mother Arrested in Infant's Death | Crime

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Teen Mother Arrested in Infant's Death
Crime

NORTH LAS VEGAS, Nev. -- Nearly seven months have passed since a teen mother secretly gave birth to a baby girl in a home near Washburn Road and Camino Al Norte.

With no medical attention, the baby died soon after she entered the world. Police arrested her 16-year-old mother last week for child abuse with substantial bodily harm and child endangerment.

"It's a very unfortunate situation, and it's a tragedy," said North Las Vegas Police Sgt. Tim Bedwell. "It's a tragedy for this 16-year-old girl. It's a tragedy for the community. It's a tragedy for that neighborhood and the family, but there are consequences to people's behaviors."

Police say the baby was born in the early morning hours of June 26 inside the North Las Vegas home. Authorities say roughly ten hours passed before the teen's mother obtained help for the child.

"What should have been done immediately upon having a child at home is to call 911," Sgt. Bedwell said.

Days after her child's death, the teen described what happened the morning she gave birth.

"It shocked me once I found out and saw the baby's head," she told KINC Univision. "I just laid her down on the bed with the blanket, and then I went back to the bathroom. Once I got back, she wasn't breathing anymore. I gave her CPR for five to ten minutes."

Former State Senator Ray Rawson called the case a tragedy for the baby and her teen mother. Dr. Rawson sponsored legislation in 2001 to help mothers in crisis after seeing numerous news reports of babies abandoned and sometimes left for dead in dumpsters.

"We'd give them a safe haven if they dropped the baby off," Dr. Rawson said. "There would be no questions asked. They had to make sure it got to somebody's hands, so that they were safe. It could be a police department, a fire department, any health care facility."

The Safe Haven law gives mothers an incentive to safely relinquish their babies to a safe location. That option could have given the unnamed baby girl who died in this case a chance at life.

The 16-year-old mother faces prosecution in the juvenile justice system and could spend time in a juvenile detention facility. Police say there was no need to rush the case. That is why six months passed before the teen was charged.

Crime