An 18-year-old woman now faces a capital murder charge in Alabama after police say the teenage mom threw her live newborn baby inside a trash compactor at a local dumpster.
Dothan police say Jakayla Williams’ baby boy was found dead after officers searched an area landfill and located his remains inside a load of trash.
At a press conference late Thursday, Dothan Police Chief Will Benny told reporters that Williams did not tell her friends or family about what really happened after she gave birth on Aug. 13 at her private home.
Williams allegedly told investigators she gave birth and then took the child to the Southeast Health Medical Center nearby.
On Wednesday, Williams’ family learned that she was pregnant and had delivered a child. The family was concerned for the baby and wanted to recover the newborn.
Southeast Health staff called law enforcement on Wednesday after Williams arrived at the facility with a family member in tow claiming she was trying to recover a child she had given birth to and then had left with a “red-headed” employee earlier that month, Benny said at the press conference broadcast by Mobile NBC Affiliate WPMI.
But there was no evidence Williams ever went to the hospital once surveillance footage was reviewed, police said.
The police chief became emotional while speaking to reporters.
“It is absolutely shocking. In all my years of law enforcement, I’ve never heard of anything so horrific as this,” the 27-year veteran of the police force said. “It shocks the mind. It shocks the soul. I don’t even really know what else to say about it.”
Williams, the police chief outlined, admitted to investigators that she did not want to be a mother at just 18 years old and that having a baby “cost too much money.”
The young woman is currently being held at the Dothan City Jail without bail.
Southeast Health officials, according to WSFA12 said had she merely taken the child to the hospital, staff would have accepted the baby — no questions asked.
Williams told investigators during her interview with them that she wrapped her newborn in a blanket and placed him inside a dumpster at an apartment complex, police said.
When police searched the dumpster, which had a trash compactor attached to it, officers found the infant’s remains there wrapped in a mattress protector. The mattress protector was thrown inside a duffel bag secured with a zipper.
Abortion has been banned or restricted in roughly two dozen states, including Alabama. The state passed the Human Life Protection Act in 2019 which effectively banned nearly all abortions there outright. That legislation went into effect after the U.S. Supreme Court overturned the landmark Roe v. Wade decision that once guaranteed a person’s right to abortion nationwide.
In recent weeks in Alabama, The Associated Press reported that abortion rights advocates have sued the state’s attorney general in a bid to curtail Alabama’s current policy of prosecuting individuals who even so much as help pregnant patients travel beyond the state’s borders for an abortion.
Russ Goodman, Dothan’s district attorney, said it is unclear at this point whether prosecutors will pursue the death penalty against Williams.
According to the Equal Justice Initiative, Alabama sentences more people to death per capita than any other state.
Have a tip we should know? [email protected]