LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP) - A 19-year-old student at a Catholic liberal arts college was charged with murder Thursday in the death of her newborn baby.
Police found the newborn girl early Wednesday morning in the
mother's dorm room at Bellarmine University.
Kathryn E. McCoy, of Plainfield, Ind., was arrested Thursday after being released from University Hospital.
Police say McCoy, a member of the school's golf team, tried to hide her pregnancy and the birth of the child from family and friends.
Louisville police Lt. Barry Wilkerson said McCoy had a roommate,
but the roommate did not know McCoy was pregnant.
"It was never discussed I guess," Wilkerson said. "They had some suspicion she might be, but they had no actual knowledge."
Police said McCoy gave birth to the girl in a bathroom connected to her dorm room in Anniversary Hall, then stayed inside the bathroom for about an hour. Then, McCoy went to the door and asked her roommate for a garbage bag, police said. McCoy said she gave birth to a girl, who fell in the toilet, causing her death, police said.
McCoy put the baby in the garbage bag and took it down the hall
to the trash room and left the infant there, police said. Her roommate found the infant in the trash room, then called police. McCoy then took the baby and hid her in a gym bag in an attempt to hide the birth, police said.
When police and EMS arrived at McCoy's dorm, she initially denied giving birth. Police searched the trash room, but couldn't find the baby, Wilkerson said.
"Upon further investigation, she told us where the baby was
located," Wilkerson said.
Jefferson County Deputy Coroner Gayle Norris has not released
the official cause of death.
The child, found about 12:30 a.m. EDT Wednesday, was at or near
full term, Norris said. The baby was pronounced dead at 1:06 a.m.,
A message left at a listing for her family in Plainfield was not immediately returned Thursday. Detectives spoke briefly with McCoy's parents Thursday morning, Wilkerson said. Wilkerson said McCoy has an attorney, but he would not say who it was.
"They made it clear they didn't wish her speaking to us,"
A state law that took effect in 2002 generally allows parents or
people acting on their behalf to anonymously drop off newborns they
cannot care for at selected "safe" locations, including hospitals
or with EMS personnel, police officers or firefighters, without
fear of criminal prosecution.
The goal of the law was to eliminate incidents of newborns being
left in trash cans, public restrooms or other unsafe locations.
Detectives have not positively identified the father and are unsure whether he knew McCoy had the baby, Wilkerson said.
"It's early on," Wilkerson said. "We're going to have to determine if there was even knowledge by him."
(Copyright 2007 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)