A dead newborn was found abandoned outside a Muskingum University sorority house in Ohio last week according to The Columbus Dispatch.
The Muskingum County sheriff’s office said university police received a call and found a newborn outside the Delta Gamma Theta sorority house. While the investigation is ongoing, all twelve students living at the house have to find another place to stay. The body was sent to the coroner’s office for an autopsy, but it was believed that the baby was born alive and was a few hours old when it died.
At present time, is it not yet known whether the mother was a member of Delta Gamma Theta. Her identity has not been released to the public, but according to multiple reports, she is a student at the university.
Unfortunately, this isn’t the first time such an incident has occurred at Muskingum. In 2002, a baby was found dead in a dumpster on the exact same street. The mother was a student at the university, and told authorities she thought the baby was stillborn. She was convicted and served jail time.
This is so tragic. No matter how scary the situation of being pregnant is, there are better options than giving birth to a baby only to throw it away. Every state in the US has some sort of “safe haven” law, where mothers who have given birth and feel like they can’t provide for their child can anonymously leave their babies at places like hospitals or police stations without being prosecuted. In Ohio, the Safe Haven Law states, “you can leave your baby, up to 30 days old, with an employee on duty at any hospital, emergency medical services providers or law enforcement agency in Ohio with no prosecution.”
Students struggling with the news are encouraged to speak with a counselor or chaplain on campus.
According to Whiz News, the Muskingum County Coroner is releasing more information about the death of the baby at Muskingum University last week. Dr. Charles Feicht says that the baby was alive at birth which likely happened at 8 am on Wednesday, April 22. He says it was found around 9 pm by authorities in a tightly closed plastic bag in a trash receptacle so in Dr. Feicht’s opinion the baby died from asphyxiation.
The mother of the baby was interviewed by Muskingum County Sheriff’s Detectives, but her name has not been released and no charges have yet been filed. Muskingum County Sheriff Matt Lutz declined to comment since this is a pending investigation.